Being a leader is a responsibility.
It’s no longer just about them and the job they do. It’s about empowering the team to get the best results for them and the business, without harming their mental and physical health.
Many people are promoted to a role because they’re good at what they do, but they’re given no training, support or tools to effectively lead people.
Then there’s the toxic cultures that promote bullies, perpetrators of sexual harassment and ineffective leaders, yet they know people in positions of power, so they get the job.
Poor management produces poor results
The Gallup research from 2021 says it best:
Managers – more than any other factor – influence team engagement and performance. That’s not an exaggeration: 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager.
How’s your team engagement? Do you have psychological safety?
7 rotten things managers have said
When I share with people what I do, I get horror stories about what they’ve experienced – most of them at the hands of their manager. Here’s just 7 horrible things managers have said to their staff:
- Leave your problems at home – to someone experiencing domestic violence
- I don’t want you to think about that. Just focus on the work I gave you – to someone who’s child just tried to take their own life
- We’re restructuring the team – to someone who, in the same meeting, advised they have cancer
- Ha ha ha, that’s me – when survey results showed extensive bullying
- I will destroy them and make them quit – about someone who made a complaint
- Unwashed – when referring to unvaccinated colleague
- Who said this? We are not leaving until I find out who shared this information – to a team when the manager got the results of the confidential staff survey
It’s unfathomable that these words came out of people’s mouths. I can only think of two reasons why these things were said. They think it’s ok – their ethics, morales and values make these comments acceptable to them. Or, the manager is uncomfortable and doesn’t know what to do, so they say stupid things…
All of these comments are unacceptable, yet most of them came from people who are known to be ineffective leaders. The cultures in these organisations suffered severely. Some have even been in the media…
Have you got a story you’d like to share?
It’s time to stop promoting and hiring people who don’t have compassion, empathy or basic people skills. As an employer, you have an obligation to keep your workers safe – these behaviours can cause serious psychological harm, destroy your culture and cost you in more ways than one.
If the team’s not performing, it’s time to look at management.
Survey your staff, ask them for their feedback and actually look at the results. If team members make a complaint – listen and act on it. And if you can’t retain people in a particular team, look at why this might be happening. One team I knew lost over a dozen staff in a 6 month period and the team wasn’t much bigger. There were multiple formal and informal complaints yet management and HR still did nothing…
If the person is really great at what they do, but don’t have the people skills you can:
- give them a pay rise, bonuses or incentives in their current role – do not let them lead people
- provide them with training and development (if they’re self aware and willing to improve)
- help them find another job. It might be in the best interest for everyone to help them find a role where they can thrive elsewhere.
It takes Courage to lead, but it also takes tools
We often don’t get taught the tough stuff like how to create psychological safety, how to manage conflict, bullying and poor performance. This is why I’ve created the Courageous Leader Launchpad – to ignite the courage within leaders and share the tools and support needed to manage the dark sides of leadership.
If any of the above comments seem ok to you, then the Courageous Leader Launchpad is NOT for you. You are too much hard work and it wouldn’t be a safe space for the other members of the group.
If you’re a leader that’s looking for support with the tough stuff, including how to manage these difficult situations and people, then jump in to the next round of the Launchpad here.