If you’ve earned the opportunity to lead or manage a team of people, it’s probably because someone within your organization spotted leadership potential in you. However, fulfilling that potential can be a challenge! Every leader needs to take the time to consider if they are doing everything possible to be a badass boss.
Different roles and responsibilities that come with leadership can prove a challenge to managers and leaders. And, of all those roles and responsibilities, the most important one is leading, guiding, and supporting a group of employees to be their best every day.
With the daily challenges you face, it’s inevitable that you’ll have an ‘off day’ once in a while. But you must avoid developing bad habits that create animosity between you and your employees. It can have severe consequences for you, your team, and the whole organization. Consequences like poor employee mental health, rising absenteeism, and turnover are costly.
Here is a short list of warning signs you are not the best possible leader you can be and how to enhance those leadership skills.
1) You don’t set clear goals or provide feedback
You don’t set well-defined goals or communicate what you expect from your team members. Also, you rarely or never give feedback. This leaves employees feeling lost and unsure about their roles and how well they’re doing.
A good leader provides clarity of purpose and regular constructive feedback. This gives your team members something to strive for and enables them to identify areas where they need to improve. Clear goals and feedback are great motivators.
2) You micromanage
You don’t feel your team members can carry out a task or project. So, you constantly look over their shoulder and follow every task stage. You often direct and nitpick. Such behavior can make employees feel frustrated and doubtful about their abilities.
A good leader trusts their employees. They empower them to take on responsibility and make decisions. Better still, great leaders give their teams challenging projects. They’ll either fail fast or learn fast. Either way, employees grow in confidence, gain new skills, and develop leadership qualities.
3) You overwork your employees
You expect employees to work long hours. You call or email them in the evenings and on weekends. You consistently demand they perform duties outside their original job description. Persisting with this behavior causes stress and can lead to employee burnout.
A good leader encourages employees to practice self-care. This means educating them and providing the tools to set boundaries between office hours and personal time. Also, allow your employees to take time off to rest, relax, and recharge. This way, they are refreshed and able to give their best when they return to work.
4) You never admit to your mistakes
You don’t hold yourself accountable whenever you fail or make a mistake. Worse still, you place the blame on others. You get defensive at the slightest criticism. And, whenever one of your team members makes a mistake, you’re intolerant and come down on them like a ton of bricks. The result is fear among employees of becoming the fall guy. No one will take any risks around you.
A good leader openly admits to their mistakes and shares what they’ve learned. They also teach employees that every failure and mistake is a learning opportunity and a step on the road toward success.
5) You play favorites
You give your favored team members the best projects. You exclude individuals outside your inner circle from specific meetings. You only associate with like-minded colleagues. This behavior creates mistrust and lowers employee morale.
A good manager treats all employees fairly and allocates assignments based on the skills and abilities of each team member. They also build diverse and inclusive teams, providing opportunities regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, and disability. Diverse and inclusive groups tend to be more creative and collaborate more successfully.
Continually look out for these warning signs to help you identify areas for leadership improvement. No one is perfect, but admitting there is room for improvement and displaying vulnerability go a long way with direct reports. Great leaders build high-performing teams, contributing significantly to your organization’s success.