3 Leadership Styles that Destroy Productivity
“Average leaders inspire people to punch a time clock. Great leaders inspire industry and passion.” Joseph B. Wirthlin
Becoming an effective leader isn’t always easy. Leadership styles are often developed unintentionally, learned from others who led before you. Additionally, with all the pressures today and multiple pulls on our time and attention, it’s more challenging than ever to lead with a long-term vision in a way that develops the next generation of leaders.
Even with the best intentions, people can develop poor leadership styles that can destroy productivity. If left unchecked, poor leadership traits can be even more costly to your organization, such as by causing high turnover and requiring you to spend more time and money recruiting and training new employees.
There are many leadership traits that can cause harm to an organization. Here are three leadership styles to watch out for if you’re looking to push your company to success. These styles close communication, lower morale, make your team members feel unimportant, and destroy production.
1. Narcissistic Leaders
Narcissistic leaders have a very high opinion of themselves and their ability to perform at work. They are in love with the power that being a leader affords them. Many times, these people place themselves so high above their employees that they lose touch with the common goals of the company.
Narcissistic leaders act like the figurehead of the company rather than someone in the day-to-day trenches getting the job done. They may be very charismatic, but they are often acting in their own interest and ignoring the needs of the team.
Narcissistic leaders often take credit for the work of the team, which leaves team members less motivated to work hard. Times quickly turn bad when team members realize they won’t receive credit or recognition for work well done, not even as a team. When this happens, employees get discouraged and will often do the minimal amount of work required to get through the day.
2. Autocratic Leaders
Autocratic leaders see themselves as the sole decision makers in a company. When they take this to an extreme, autocratic leaders lead through authority and compliance, believing when management speaks, employees must listen; and presenting strong negative consequences for mistakes. They lead through instilling a fear of receiving punishment when something goes wrong.
This leads employees to lose respect for their leader, only respecting the title and doing enough to not lose their job until they can find another one. Employees feel like they aren’t trusted or valued no matter how hard they work, so they are less likely to work hard.
Autocratic leaders do not foster a sense of teamwork, because management makes all decisions. This lack of teamwork and teambuilding ends innovation and creativity among team members. Team members will just follow instructions as given and not recommend improvements. They will become afraid to take even the most carefully calculated risk.
As time goes on, your best team members will leave for greener pastures that allow them to be more creative and supported. Your organization will be left with only the less-productive team members.
Micromanagers lead through one tool: control, often because of a desire for consistent results. Although consistency is an important goal, micromanaging destroys productivity because the leader will be a bottleneck for all work. You will only be able to produce as much as the leader can directly oversee. Micromanagers teach their employees to be dependent on them. They do not delegate well and tend to take on all tasks themselves. They convey no sense of confidence in the skills of the people they have hired. Teams feel as though they cannot complete assignments without the micromanager’s involvement. Even the simplest question is answered by deferring to the micromanager.
Micromanagers create an environment where people are afraid to make mistakes and take risks. They worry about doing things the way the leader wants, even if they believe there’s a better way.
Finally, micromanagers also foster an environment of fear and a lack of trust. They’re viewed as high maintenance and hard to please. Their communication is usually nonexistent or critical. Although there is certainly room for constructive criticism in the workplace, the consistency and frequency of the criticism that comes from micromanagers makes it virtually impossible for it to be received in a constructive fashion. Employees feel constantly criticized and lose trust for their leader, and productivity suffers.
Is your team working productively?
If your team members aren’t producing, perhaps it’s because someone in your organization has developed a productivity-killing leadership style. Many times, this happens unintentionally. Perhaps they came from an organization where leaders regularly took credit for their team’s accomplishments because of another leader in their organization. In this case, it’s not that the leader is a narcissist, but developed narcissistic leadership traits as a way of survival.
The same holds true for autocratic leadership traits or micromanaging. Perhaps the leader came from an organization where that was the norm.
If this is the case, new information, leadership training, and additional internal or external support may be all that’s needed to rid your company of productivity-destroying leadership styles.
If you need help evaluating and developing great leaders in your organization, please feel free to reach out to me to discuss your needs. Together, we can develop a leadership training program to help you empower your team to take your organization to new heights.