Everyone wants to be effective as a leader. You want to have a team that will accomplish the task set before them. However, many leadership struggle to be effective.
I believe there’s five areas leaders struggle with and which causes ineffective leadership. Most of the times ineffective leadership slowly slips in. Before we know it, we’re wondering why no one is following anymore.
When we discover our leadership is ineffective, you might say our leadership is as useless as a screen door on a submarine (Thanks for the beautiful words Rich Mullins).
What are these reasons you ask? Well, here are my top 5 reasons on why your leadership is ineffective.
- You fail to listen to your team: Do you ever watch the TV show Undercover Boss? It’s not a show I catch often but when I do, I really enjoy it. The premise is a boss goes undercover and works with his employees. Along the way he learns what’s really going on in the company.
One of the major complaints from team members has to be leadership doesn’t listen to those on the ground floor, in the action zone. Instead, leadership makes decisions from a top level view with little input from those who are dealing with the real issues.
Let’s begin to change this attitude. Begin searching for those workers who are active and productive. Ask them into the inner circle and let them give their opinion. You’ll be surprised on the insights you’ll gain from listening to those employees.
- You fail to do what you say: You’ve heard the saying before: “Do as I say, not as I do.” This probably came from your mother or father. As leaders, we tend to carry on this tradition. The truth is it’s killing your effectiveness as a leader.
Leaders should be following through with their requests. They should also be willing to take on the tasks they’re asking their employees to do. When you’re unwilling to do a task, your team knows it. They can sense it in the way you’re asking or, even, demanding the job be done.
Become someone who leads by example. Show your team the way and your level of effectiveness will rise.
- You fail to cast a clear vision: Vision, next to influence, is one of the most important tasks of a leader. You need to lay out a clear vision of where you want your organization to go and have a plan to get there.
Without the clear vision, your team begins to wander. Frustration eventually builds. Leading to unhappy coworkers and a mass exodus of employees.
Change course today and begin laying out a firm foundation. Begin crafting a vision for your team to latch onto. Give them a clear focus and help them move towards the goal.
- You fail to influence: John Maxwell has defined leadership as “Influence, nothing more, nothing less.” If you don’t have influence, you don’t have leadership.
Search yourself and discover why you’re not having influence. Is it a lack of empathy? Is it not listening to your team? Whatever it is, find it and change paths. Begin fixing what’s wrong and regain the influence you need to lead effectively.
- You fail to communicate clearly: Communication is essential to quality leadership. It helps make the vision plain. It helps draw your team together. It helps distribute the information needed to do what needs to be done.
When you fail to communicate, everything begins to falter. People begin to seek out a leader who will communicate, and this person may not have had the title of leader bestowed upon them by the company. Instead it’s by his or her coworkers.
Examine your leadership and see if this is an issue. Once you’ve pinpointed this as an issue, work to correct it. Take the leap into ToastMasters, find a mentor who’s a great communicator, or practice communicating in front of a mirror. Whatever you do, improve your communication!
Question: I’ve shared 5 reasons I’ve noticed for ineffective leadership, what other reasons would you add to the list? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.