4 Ineffective Leadership Styles You Might Be Guilty of and How to Correct Them

By Pol Arellano

It’s 5:30 in the afternoon on a Friday and your employees have all left to go to Blytheman’s Pub to celebrate Karen’s engagement. Karen is your executive assistant of 2 years.

In this happy social scenario, you, as the boss, wasn’t invited. Rather, it feels as if your employees made sure that you didn’t know about it. But you overheard some of your employees talking about how fun it was, so you found out anyway.

But socializing with your staff is just the tip of the iceberg. For a while now, your employees have been demotivated. Every meeting seems to be a backbreaking task. Everyone seems to be in a rut they can’t get out of.

And you think to yourself, this may just be the perfect time to reevaluate the effectivity of my leadership style. And you’re absolutely right.

There are multiple ways to lead companies into success. And though not one style is proven to work for all types of work environments, there are styles that are proven to be ineffective almost all of the time.

Here’re 4 ineffective leadership styles that you might be guilty of and how to correct them:


1. You’re a control-freak or a micromanager


Do you find yourself obsessing about every little detail about your employees’ tasks? Constantly creating and changing rules as you see fit? Do you always want to know where your employees are and what they’re doing at work? Do you get upset when you see results that could’ve been better if it was done your way?

Then you, my friend, are guilty of micromanaging your employees.

Not only is it extremely hard to keep tabs on everyone’s work, but it will also make your employees burn out fast. Or worse, leave.

69% of employees consider changing jobs when they experience micromanagement in the workplace. If you do not want to lose quality talent, you need to stop micromanaging your employees ASAP.

If you find yourself guilty of this practice, you should:

Learn to trust your people. The first thing to do is to remember that you hired your employees for a reason — so that they can perform their duties well. Let them try to do their tasks on their own. Give them directive and let them find the smartest way to reach the end goal.  This fosters innovation and a healthy relationship in the workplace.

Focus on the big picture. Instead of constantly focusing on your employees’ tasks to the tittle and the dot, you can spend time on other more important aspects of your business. With your team working on their tasks, you have the time and the opportunity to tackle strategies and tactics that would propel your business forward. What can be improved with your product or service? How comprehensive is your knowledge of your target audience? Are there new ways to reach more of your audience? These are all questions you can find answers to when you’re not busy handling the small details of every task you give out.

2. You’re an egomaniac


Do you find yourself tending to disregard other people’s ideas or thoughts, thinking that yours is the best anyway? Do you think that rules apply to everyone else except you? Do you often take the credit when your whole team does a great job?

Being a narcissistic boss means you’re only focused on you and you alone. And this leadership type does not do well with employees. 60% of employees report that their bosses are self-oriented or are narcissistic, which needless to say, greatly affect employee morale.

If you find yourself guilty of this practice, you should:

Remember that your people are your strength. The world does not revolve around you. Neither does your company. It is composed of multiple individuals working together to make success happen. You should always remember to respect others and understand that all of your people work to make your company reach its top potential.

Learn to appreciate your employees. Understand that everyone on your team deserves to be appreciated for their contributions. Increase employee morale and productivity by recognizing their accomplishments. You’d be surprised how a “job well done” email or a pat on the back can help make employees feel great about working. Don’t be afraid to reward your team for big accomplishments too — treat them out to a nice dinner, or a fun weekend team get-together.

3. You’re unrealistic


Are you overly trusting of an employee, even though he or she has, historically, done you and the company wrong? Do you tend to only listen to the good news? Do you yell at your employees who present possible problems or issues that need to be addressed?

Though optimism can be a good trait for a leader, it needs to always be backed up by objectiveness. Yes, you want to be supportive of an employee — but historical data states that said employee doesn’t work well under pressure, and has a high chance of failing the task. An unrealistic boss will still push through with it, solely trusting his gut instinct. And reap the disaster afterward.

If you find yourself guilty of this practice, you should:

Change your perspective. Of course, no one really wants to hear bad news. However, if you change your perspective about things, you’ll learn to attack an issue or a concern head on. Think about it this way: the earlier you find out about problems that need your attention, the earlier you can think of solutions. Also, encourage employees to be forthcoming with their ideas and concerns. It’s better to be proactive than reactive.

4. You’re completely inaccessible


Do you only go to the office once or twice a week and stay for a couple of hours? Are you incessantly unavailable for one-on-one or even group meetings? Do you travel nine months out of the year, and are busy meeting with high execs during the remaining three?

Yes, a control-freak of a boss is bad, but a boss who’s never around is also not great for employees.

If you find yourself guilty of this practice, you should:

Be transparent about your preferred means of communication. Whether you prefer short face-to-face meetings or prefer to read about an issue or a concern first before calling a team meeting, let your employees know how to best reach you and communicate with you. You won’t be able to provide useful direction or advice if employees don’t have a clue on how to best reach you. Make sure that your executive assistant understands how important it is for employees to reach you.

Take the time to communicate with employees. It doesn’t have to be always about work. Make employees feel that they can approach you. Ask them questions. Show your support for their projects. Give feedback. Make sure that your office door isn’t always shut closed (and locked!) so that employees can feel that they can go in and talk to you.

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