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This month's blog was guest-written by Elena Stewart. Elena made the jump from a corporate job she wasn’t entirely happy with, to running her own business that gives her the financial freedom and flexible lifestyle she’s always wanted. As a life coach, she now gets the happiness of helping others get to the places that might seem out of reach.
Nobody goes into business believing they'll be a lousy leader. But, unfortunately, certain leadership styles or traits can quickly derail a business. Studies show bad bosses can decrease company morale, increase turnover rates, and lower productivity.
The worst part? One survey cited by Pepperdine Graziadio Business School found that 100% of people reported having at least one bad manager. Recognizing these negative behaviors or traits can help you overcome these statistics to be a great boss who only positively influences your company. This guide from can help you get started.
Failing to Consider the Details
Even the most minor details are crucial when it comes to business. You could be positioning your business for serious setbacks if you don't pay attention to all the details, especially administrative or legal ones. As a leader, you must understand everything that needs to be done and ensure it's done efficiently. However, this doesn't mean you have to put more on your already overwhelming plate.
For example, you could use an online service to handle the paperwork and expedite your business formation when you file necessary startup documents. There are different services available, so ensure that you do your research to find the best option. For example, research the differences between Zenbusiness vs Legalzoom (pricing, turnaround time, additional services, etc.) to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money.
Or, you may find it helpful to delegate answering emails to your secretary or another qualified employee. This way, all your emails will be looked at, and you won't miss any important ones. The hired employee can let you know if any emails require your attention.
Ignoring Good Advice
A good leader needs to be coachable. Not only should they be practicing active listening, but they should also be considering feedback and advice. If advice is applicable, it should be acted upon. Good advice can come from a variety of places. You may receive sound advice from schooling, certification courses, conferences, and other business leaders in your area. But, good advice can also come from your employees, friends, or family. Sometimes advice is ignored because the source is unexpected. Other times, advice is ignored because you believe you already know better than others — try to avoid those times.
Forgetting Your Employees Are Human
One study noted by the Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute found that job earnings didn't even rank in the top five employee satisfaction factors. Among the most important factors were a safe work environment and good management.
One of the easiest ways to negate both of these factors is by forgetting your employees are human. A business doesn't always run like a well-oiled machine. Things can and will come up. For example, your secretary may need to go on maternity leave. Or an entire sector of your company could come down with something contagious and be out for two weeks.
It isn't just about happenstance, however. Your employees have a life outside the office, and they need an appropriate amount of understanding. This is especially true if an employee has made you aware of their problems. For example, an employee may be feeling overwhelmed outside of the office and suffer a slight dip in productivity. Try to be understanding and mindful.
Not Taking Advantage of Leadership Programs
Finding ways to empower your employees is an excellent way to invest in their futures — as well as the future of your business. For example, if you’ve recently hired executives and you want to provide them with the tools they need to succeed in their roles, work with a company like Executive Springboard, which pairs your executives with mentors who can help them develop their individual skills. While the end benefit is to help improve and grow your business, your employees will appreciate that you’re willing to invest in them.
Be Mindful of Your Leadership Style
You need to be mindful of your leadership style. If you recognize any negative traits in yourself, work to correct them before they derail your business. Consider leadership mentoring or coaching by Executive Springboard.
Executive Springboard President Steve Moss shares learning from years as an executive and a mentor.