Leadership-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Do you know how to recognize the difference? What traits stand out in each category? How do they affect your employees and organization as a whole? It’s easy to recognize the types when you know what to look for.

Most of us have experienced good, bad and ugly leaders wishing the last two categories had never happened. Going forward I refer to these leaders as managers, at times they may be called executives, middle management or supervisors.

A good manager is either a natural, has had training, a coach and or a mentor. They’ve conquered their ego allowing them to empower their employees. He/she leaves you excited and inspired about doing your work. They share the big picture and ask their teams how to go about achieving their goals rather than telling them what to do. They trust their employees and if not, let them go rather than create havoc for everyone else. Most importantly, a good manager knows how to truly listen.

A bad manager is lost, doesn’t know how to communicate in an empowering way and does not know how to inspire others to do their best. He/she is intimidated by good employees, doesn’t know how to let go, delegate, allow the team to use their strengths, pull together as a unit and complement each other with their best skills. A bad manager has often been promoted from within because of their technical knowledge and does not possess many people skills. Among the most important skills missing, is truly listening.

The ugly manager is insecure, micromanages, bullies, gossips and does anything within his/her power to try and make themselves look good while throwing their employees under the bus. Their attitude and behavior affects their employee’s performance creating fear, tension and a great deal of anger, often causing employees to leave. This is a very unproductive environment that unfortunately gets overlooked in many companies costing thousands of dollars and unknown amounts of productive time lost as people spend time trying to cover their back and run for hills to avoid this ugliness.

For those good or great managers in your organization, let them know how much you appreciate their attitude and what their teams accomplish. They are to be valued and cherished.

If you have a bad manager they can be shown the way with some training and coaching if they are open to it. There is hope!

An ugly manger must go… their insecurity runs deep and will take a huge time investment that may not be worth the effort. Bad and ugly managers often cause projects and teams to fail, good employees to leave, sickness, mental health breakdown and cost corporations thousands of dollars.

Which kind of manager do you and your organization want working for you? It will make a difference in how your employees engage, how well your organization functions and in this time of social media your organization’s reputation as a great or not so great place to work is out there for all to see. It may be costing you the chance to hire more good candidates.

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman wrote, “People leave mangers not companies. So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people – in the form of better pay, better perks and better training- when, in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.” (From the book, First Break All the Rules)