Good leadership leads to good performance – it’s a no brainer – but it’s shocking to see how many unfulfilled people there are because their boss isn’t an inspiring leader. Poor management styles result in low level performance and, ultimately, the bottom-line suffering.
Sadly, a lot of companies don’t invest heavily in teaching their lead teams management skills. Often people are promoted due to their work ability without serious consideration being made to their managerial or leadership skills. Often a lot of leaders I work with say that they spend their time equally between doing their job and managing their team and if they haven’t been equipped with the tools to manage, holes start to appear and performance wanes.
This can have a huge impact to a company in terms of profit and overall staff happiness and wellbeing and it’s hugely evident that companies that invest in their management team’s skillset gain the biggest rewards.
I dare say that a lot of us have experienced bad management styles but it’s how you manage up that counts. Many people would rather leave a role than try and work with a management style that doesn’t suit them, but I always urge my clients to try and identify the issues and work on them together. It can be a frustrating situation; your boss has been propelled into this position without support or training and, as a result, you are not being managed and supported as you should be. It’s a fail on both sides.
If someone feels they are being uninspired and unsupported by their manager I always urge them to speak to their boss openly and honestly, without criticism. A lot of the time this transparency works wonders as they can work on and grow their relationship together. A lot of the time the manager is struggling and allowing them the opportunity to learn and grow and get the support they need is vital.
As an employee, it is important to set boundaries and have professionalism at your core. If your boss is lax or unsupportive, you don’t have to be. Make sure that their behaviour doesn’t get mirrored with yours and ensure that you perform well at all times as if their style is weak or damaging, it will have undoubtably been noticed by their peers.
It is an idea to watch your boss too to really look at what they are good at and what their weaknesses are. See if they have triggers for their behaviour, such as excess stress or pressure, or do they get uncomfortable in certain scenarios? This can be such a good learning and insight into why they behave as they do. Are they simply not getting the support they need from their boss so this behaviour is trickling down?
There is also no harm in managing up. If you are not getting regular time set aside by your boss, book it in. Make sure you’re clear on what your expectations are in terms of what support or coaching you might need, and also be super clear on your goals and ambitions. By demonstrating leadership in your own way will ensure they take notice and hopefully follow your example. Don’t be afraid to call out behaviours which are damaging to you or the business or if don’t align with the right values. And if you’ve got a great boss – be their champion, and let them know how appreciative you are – after all, they’re human too!
If you are a leader who wants to improve your leadership style, do get in touch as I work with both individuals and teams with hugely successful results.