Two Common Leadership Styles That Set You Up for Failure

Two Common Leadership Styles That Set You Up for Failure

It’s easy to fall into a pattern of ineffective leadership without realizing it. You may have picked up bad habits by watching other leaders who came before you. Poor leadership styles can contribute to mistakes and a reduced focus in the short term, as well as a lack of organizational growth and innovation over the long term. Learn to recognize—and avoid—these two common ineffective leadership styles.

  1. The Genius with a Thousand Helpers: These leaders are often high-performers who were superstars in their positions before they were elevated to a higher role. They feel the need to make every decision instead of trusting employees to use their own judgment. The Genius with a Thousand Helpers:
    Doesn’t delegate effectively;
    Creates logjams of decisions waiting to be made;
    Stifles opportunities for innovation;
    Causes smart, talented professionals to grow frustrated – and leave the organization.

    Genius with a Thousand Helpers

  1. The Aloof Executive: These leaders are often distracted by other obligations and give employees too much freedom to make decisions without providing sufficient direction. When things are going well, people may feel that the Aloof Executive is a “great boss who empowers people.” But when things go south, the Aloof Executive will:
    Blame people for not paying attention to key aspects of the organization;
    Take aim at people who disagree;
    Fail to implement solutions that address the underlying problems;
    Cause smart, talented employees to grow frustrated – and leave the organization.

    Aloof Executive

    Both of these styles need to find greater balance.

    For the Genius with a Thousand Helpers, balance comes with:

    Delegating more – and being consistent in your delegations;
    Identifying talented team members and giving them more room to implement their own decisions and strategies;
    Debunking the notions that he or she is the smartest person on the team by highlighting the strengths of others.
    Delegating more – and being consistent in your delegations;

    For the Aloof Executive, balance comes with:

    Setting clear goals and checking in with employees to ensure that they have the tools and direction they need;
    Altering their delegation style by giving more comprehensive input to team members who aren’t yet ready to make decisions on their own;
    Taking a systems view to understanding the root cause of the problem;
    Using employee feedback and self-assessment tools to gauge his or her leadership style and maintain a healthy balance.

Learn more in my new book, “The Leadership Equation: 10 Practices to Build Trust, Spark Innovation, and Create a High-Performing Organization

LRI’s expert consultants can provide coaching to help you or others in your organization develop leadership skills. Please call us for a free consultation at 800-598-7662 or email your inquiry.

Eric Douglas

Eric Douglas is the senior partner and founder of Leading Resources Inc., a consulting firm that focuses on developing high-performing organizations. For more than 20 years, Eric has successfully helped a wide array of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporations achieve breakthroughs in performance. His new book The Leadership Equation helps leaders achieve strategic clarity, manage change effectively, and build a leadership culture.

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