It’s bad enough when a leader isn’t substantially improving the performance of their people and teams. But what about leaders who are actually having a negative effect on their company’s performance? In an article I co-authored,
How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profits
, our research revealed that the top 10% of the Fortune 500 leaders we surveyed were bringing in more than double the net income created by the remaining 90%. The real shocker was that the bottom 10% in this group of leaders were actually losing money for their business--to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. How does that happen?
Often the culprit is the daily drip, drip, drip of operating income loss, fueled by seemingly mundane leadership decisions. These include:
-- Unclear or poorly defined strategies that cause confusion and lower productivity
-- Highly political environments where managing optics, heavy-handed bureaucracy, bottlenecks or the need to “cover your ass” impedes progress on important goals
-- Intense managerial pressure to increase revenue, “sell more,” and “be better,” combined with lack of coaching in how to achieve improved results leads to mediocre performance and disengaged employees
--A myopic focus on short-term operational metrics stifles innovation and growth
Many of these problems stem from leaders who are pushing their employees too hard, being spread too thin, and ignoring how their messages are received. Too often, they don’t realize their behavior has a decidedly counterproductive impact.
As a leader, you have a responsibility to improve the performance of your team. If that isn’t happening, you’ve become very expensive overhead. Focus your efforts on aligning your teams with your strategic objectives, improving their capabilities to carry them out, and providing inspiration. For more on this idea, check out my latest article for Forbes,
The Myth of Leaders Driving For Results.