Leaders can be the make or break the link for their teams. It is more common to hear great success stories of inspirational leaders. However, there are also leaders who can completely destroy their teams with their behaviour. These do not get talked about in general as people avoid negative behaviors. And yet, as a budding manager and leader, it may make so much sense to know what not to do. Below are some ways in which toxic leaders destroy their teams:
Failing to listen to the Team
This is one of the most common traits among leaders who can’t keep their teams together. The inability to listen to one’s team. Marred by bloated ego, these leaders want the team to listen to them instead of the other way round. This behavior isolates them from good suggestions coming from the bottom-up. In the current evolutionary scenario, teams are looking for growth. Being heard and acknowledged for one’s ideas boosts one’s morale. The opposite has the opposite effect. To save one’s team and to be cherished as a leader, one has to be a great listener.
Numbers Aren’t Everything
Agreed that businesses are run for the sole purpose of making profits. However, some leaders can be excessively focussed on the numbers. Their attachment to the bottom-line and other numbers is so great that they end up neglecting the very teams that work tirelessly to achieve those numbers. A leader who does not understand the human beings working as part of his team and their needs, would not be able to keep the team together. As a leader, you have to focus on building a great team of great humans. Numbers will follow.
Creating Changes Just Because They Like It
Some leaders believe it is the change that they affect or bring about which is a true measure of their competency. And it is, in a scenario where the business would be doomed otherwise. However, if the business is on the right track, effecting a change just because you like it is not the way to go. People and teams hate changes. They take time to adjust and may not be able to cope with the increased pressure that change brings about. Change is a constant in a dynamic environment but what and how to change is the secret that tells the difference between a good and a bad leader.
Focussing Only on One’s Image with the Super boss
Leaders are part of an organization headed by an owner or a superior boss. A leader who only looks to please this one superior at the cost of his or her team will lose confidence with the team. Such leaders can go to any extent to please their bosses. Even to the extent of stealing credit or not giving due credit to the team members who worked hard to achieve those results. This is a sure-shot way of destroying team morale. A good leader would always be mindful of one’s team and not just one’s own personal image with the superiors.
Failing to Communicate Consistently and Effectively
The biggest asset of a good leader is consistent and effective communication with one’s team. Poor communication and failure to keep your team in tow with the latest will result in disastrous results. What’s worse, such a leader will be seen as incompetent by the team and resented. It is the responsibility of a leader to have great turnaround time with the latest information so that it reaches the team at the right time. A leader who communicates well is respected and idolised by the team.
Those wanting to hone their leadership skills may go for leadership and strategic management online course, several of which are available online.