When it comes to managing a business or a project or anything that involves more than just you doing the job, there is a thought in management that you should force the problem along until you have a solution. It isn’t a good thought, but it happens daily.
If you want to win at business, you have to avoid a few of the prevalent failures of management.
- Fear of Losing
The first failure in management is fear. It can be the simple, yet stupid fear of being out shined by lower level employees or it can be the fear of someone catching them being human. Fear, in itself is a human trait. Fear in business is a waste of time and energy. The best leaders find ways to let others shine, especially people who work for them. If you are in charge and are fearful of anything, you need to face it and get over it.
- Threatening Leadership
I am pretty sure we have all worked in an organization that had threats as a daily part of the work-cycle. Threats are another sad failure of management. If you have to threaten people to do their jobs, they are in the wrong job and you most definitely are too! There is NEVER a time when threats should happen in business.
- Closed-Loop Listening
When you have a leadership team that looks for feedback only from the people around them and no further out than an outside consultant, you have a failure of management. There is no leadership that includes not listening openly to everyone in an organization. It is a Bulldog Rule For Business that you should know every part of your business. You have to hear the worst parts of your business and your leadership to be able to grow.
- Promoting Failure
This is one that I see every day in businesses. I had lunch at a well-known eatery and the manager was the worst person to have lead. He didn’t have the skills to ring up a customer or lead his waiters to bring a glass of water to a customer. He looked and sounded the part of a good manager, but he was soon found out to be incompetent by the staff and they ran right over him. You don’t owe anyone a leadership job. They have to be the right person to lead and manage the business.
- Unwilling to Fire Faster
I am going to offer up that I am very guilty of this failure. I have had several employees who I thought I could manage, train, coach, and lead to greater results. It was a waste of my energy and the company’s money to keep them on board. A great manager of mine from years ago told me, “All you need to lead a person is to teach them what to do, how to do it, and to find out if they want to do it.” Finding out if they want to do the job, if their heart is in it, is crucial to leading.
- Losing Focus on the Vision Statement
Business brings good things and bad things all in the same day. If you can’t keep the ship clearly aimed at the path you want it to go and have given everyone in the organization a clear picture of what your vision for success is, then you have failed. Find the vision, not the mission. Missions take faith. Visions paint to picture of what goals look like so everyone knows when you reach them.
- Inconsistent Leadership
I’ve had bosses who were crazy. I was never sure what would come out of their mouth and was either cringing or smiling waiting for the punchline. It was a mess to try to find out any news from these people. I didn’t know if I was helping reach goals or failing. Being consistent in business is the key to keeping staff happy and understanding what you want from them and keeping customers coming back for what they know you can provide.
- Shhh! Secrets
There are corporate secrets that must be kept quiet. There are even little secrets that add suspense to a new product offering. You want to have some secrecy to keep you ahead of your competition. The secrecy that causes failure is closure of the executive team from the rest of the staff. I will add the Board of Directors to that mess too. When you close the loop and keep secrets that the team needs to give them a clear idea of their own growth in the company, you fail. Employees want to know that there is life in the business and that what they are doing will lead them to higher pay and rewards. When you keep secrets that keep them from understanding how the business is doing and where it is headed, you fail big time!
For every failure, there needs to be twice as many wins to keep you moving forward. I will start the new year with as many wins as I can find. I hope you can see these failures as a stepping stone to walk over and keep you going. Failure is only failure when you stop trying.
Leaders that don’t allow for failure fail more often. How you handle events that do not go well is how strong you are as a leader.
A leader should step up & help or leave & not come back.