It's not uncommon for employees to get the urge to job shop when they find themselves or their careers oppressed by out-of-touch leadership. For most, self-diagnosing for antiquated leadership behavior may seem daunting. As such, the following list provides insight into nine things leaders do that show their leadership style may need an overhaul.
1. Lead from an ivory tower. A genuine leader is willing to spend time on the front-line and go shoulder to shoulder in battle. Moreover, serving their staff with expertise and resources rather than dictating orders from their ivory tower will invigorate productivity and morale.
2. Behave autocratically. While many leaders use words like "collaborate" and "brainstorm", what they really mean is, "I want the rest of my team to assemble to validate how good my ideas are." If leadership's agenda and ego are hampering everyone else's enthusiasm to contribute, expect innovation to plummet.
On the other hand, a modern-day leader understands that, through collaboration, original ideas can be unveiled, and new markets cornered. This rising tide mentality serves individuals and groups well; it also requires leadership to be willing to paddle from the same boat as their crew.
3. Dismiss social media. While there is no single clear path to social media marketing success, an out-of-touch leader refuses to explore this media altogether, or if they do join in, it is with disdain and resistance. Putting blinders on to current marketing and business development trends does not make those trends evaporate. Instead, leaders who are in touch jump into the deep side of the ocean and start paddling. Soon, they will find themselves partaking in treasures broad and deep.
4. Publicly criticize and stir up worry. Today's leaders praise publically and reprimand privately. For them, signals of distress and agitation are avoidable, only employed when absolutely needed. Contemporary leaders cultivate a culture of positive, authentic communication and clearly articulated objectives, including planning, following up and inspiring their staff to perform with vigor.
5. Pit teams against one another. The slippery slope of competition can shift from healthy to toxic in short order if like-minded teams find themselves at war with one another. Today's leaders find ways to create collaborative sharing and healthy competition among and between their teams.
6. Never say thank you. If an employee feels they are just a cog in the wheel and are replaceable, their self-worth drops. By expressing appreciation on a regular basis for both the big – and little – things, a leader not only validates, but also motivates the employee to work harder, and grow.
7. Are indifferent to employee differences. While a group of people may hold the same job title, it is unlikely all will perform and produce the same results. Leadership must ensure a proper way to identify, coach and train staff according to their unique styles and also enable high-achievers and producers to be motivated and compensated accordingly.
8. Hire people the same as them. While assembling like-minded people can be amenable to a harmonious culture, it can hamper inventiveness if everyone is too like-minded. In other words, modern leaders look for people who can add value, teach and spark new fire in the minds of the leadership and other team members. Further, today's leaders are creative in their recruiting and networking techniques, leveraging the vast technological and communication resources available to ferret out the right-fit candidates.
9. Are rigid about schedules. Today's leadership recognizes that flexible schedules are an advantage: empowering employees with options to work around personal and family obligations; and, empowering employers to flex the schedule in sync with seasonal and marketplace fluctuations and evolving corporate goals.