Leadership. It’s a skill. While it isn’t one that all of us have, it is one that we can attain if we are committed to the prospect. We tend to associate the idea of a leader with a title. The manager of a business is a leader, as is the creative director, the CEO, and a range of other job titles. People with those job titles are expected to lead, but that doesn’t mean that they’re great leaders. A leader is someone who leads by example. Their title doesn’t dictate their ability to lead, neither do their accomplishments or achievements. It’s their conduct. Their ability to inspire. Sadly, many people fancy themselves as leaders, and they’re not. It’s a problem. So, let’s take a look at five signs that you’re not a great leader.
1. You Leverage Your Title
You’ll do it because I’m your <insert job title here>. As soon as you let those words leave your mouth, you have lost. Instead of being a role model and leading by example, you’re left trying to spark inspiration through the hierarchy. You may believe it’s worked because in that very moment it has sparked action. However, it’s creating resentment. Just because your position is one of leadership, doesn’t mean you are automatically an effective leader.
2. You’re a Finger Pointer
Do you know that saying when you point your finger there are three pointing right back at you? Any great leader recognizes that it always comes back around. So, if one of your employees makes a mistake, it’s likely going to blow back on you. You are where the buck stops, you are accountable. It doesn’t matter how it went wrong or why it did, the fact of the matter is that things do go wrong. It’s up to the leader to react and move forward from that. If you point fingers instead of holding yourself accountable for your part, then you alienate everyone around you. Your employees know you’re willing to throw them under the bus and that makes for a difficult environment.
3. You’re Inconsistent Emotionally
Every employee knows the exhaustion of wondering whether their boss is going to be in a good mood or a bad mood. Your moods shouldn’t prevent your employees from having a good day. Yet, the mood of a manager absolutely impacts the workday. It also affects the execution time of tasks because employees never know when they’ll be interrupted or how they will react. Some days, you have no issue handling questions, while others you rage. Their inconsistent emotions create complete chaos in a professional setting. It’s like building your foundation on sand and expecting everyone to deal with the fallout.
4. You Break Your Word
Do you say one thing and do another? Do you make promises and fail to keep them? There is no quicker way to destroy your position as a leader than breaking your word. It doesn’t matter how much you have on your plate, it doesn’t matter how much weight you carry on your shoulders if you don’t follow through you destroy trust. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be afraid to delegate, and always be open and honest. There’s no sense in playing a martyr.
5. You Focus on the Negative
Are you perpetually negative? Do you constantly point out the bad, while never discussing the good? There’s a fine line at play, between tearing people down and inspiring greatness. If you get caught focusing on the mistakes, you will do the former. You can highlight mistakes, but you have to look at the value of your employees and celebrate those equally. Your employees need praise, just as much (if not more) as they need correction. Do you have that balance right?
You can take steps to improve your leadership.