Friday, 2 November 2012

So, there are plenty of bad leaders out there: are you one of them?

It’s a sad fact that most of us have suffered from poor management in our careers at one time or another. You can recognise it when you’re on the receiving end. But once you become a leader of people, as in being an iMedia team leader or project manager, do you consider your own leadership style? Apparently 1 in 4 leaders have a destructive approach to management!
“Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.”
Northouse 2007
The important word here is influence. But the behaviour you exhibit to influence is pivotal because it drives the reaction in the people around you. This is why the terms leadership style and leadership traits tend to be prominent in the field.

It has not been very acceptable to dwell on anything negative like bad traits and we have been pushed to emphasise the positive in management terms, but I have always learnt from the negative, so I have welcomed the latest neuroscience research conducted by Orion into management with 2000 employees.

You need to work a bit to understand what their terms brain-fried and brain-friendly managers mean, but they makes sense. Brain-fried managers are over-stressed, poor communicators and lack empathy. These behaviours cause negative reactions in employees. Brain-friendly managers exhibit the opposite and therefore produce positive reactions in their employees. The behaviours you exhibit cause reactions first in the brain of others and then in the actions they perform. That’s the cold analysis bit prompted by The Online Recruitment article 11.10.12.

I’d recommend the expanded humourous interpretation on this research done in a Halloween spoof by Leading with Trust, Ten Signs You Might Be A Frankenboss, 28.10.12, as it’s probably more memorably brain-friendly!

Is it worth improving your leadership style? Well, maybe you and the rest of your management need to consider if your work-force are firing on all cylinders or not. That might be the price your company is paying, according to Jan Hills, quoted in Personnel Today, A quarter of bosses have destructive leadership style, 12.10.12

Then as a final brain-teaser ... have you got a mixture of extrovert and introvert mangers? It seems it is a common misconception that introverted people are not management potential according to People Development Team, Are introvert leaders better at identifying unconscious bias?, 11.10.12. The traits of introverts – reflection and criticism – can be beneficial.