There’s a school of thought that believes leaders are born, not made. Whether you believe this theory or believe that leaders can in fact be made, the reality is that many Organizations have individuals in leadership positions that should no longer be there. They either don’t have that leadership fiber in them or they simply are not the right people to get the organization to where it needs to be. Here are 5 signs it’s time for the leaders in your organization to change.
1. Ever Power Trips
When you have individuals in leadership positions who believe in the archaic management principles of managing by fear then you know it’s time for a change in leadership. Often this management style is present in insecure individuals who believe that the false sense of power and influence that comes from a leadership position allows them to treat others any way they want. They use fear to control people and to drive them to produce the desired result instead of earning their team’s respect and inspiring them to accomplish great things. A true leader understands that treating others with dignity and respect is the true source of power. When you have “leaders” in your organization who don’t understand that foundational principle it’s time to make a change
2. Old-School State of Mind
The management styles of yesterday will simply not be effective today or tomorrow if you are truly looking for your organization to have a competitive advantage and ultimately successful bottom line. Despite the clear evolution of workplace practices and attitudes, there are still leaders who fail to acknowledge a need to change or evolve themselves and will instead stick to outdated management philosophies and strategies to run the business. Gone are the days where simply collecting a paycheck should be thanks enough – or workplace flexibility being taboo because you need to SEE your employees in the office every day or you think they’re not working; or how about sticking to prehistoric technology like a blackberry simply because it’s what organizations have traditionally used instead of considering emerging technological advances. Leaders who fail to keep an open mind about the changing landscape of workplace needs, attitudes and technology and refuse to adapt to these shifting priorities are not only behind the times and out of sync, but more importantly they will become increasingly ineffective. So, ask yourself, do you want your organization to become the next Blockbuster Video – or is it time for a change.
3. No Room for Opposing Views
A glaring leadership failure is when you have leaders who oppose or shut down anyone who has an opposing view. Instead, these types of leaders look to surround themselves with nothing but “yes” men or women. While it may seem like a good idea and you will even see it spun as simply surrounding themselves with “like-minded” people, the reality is it is more of a sign that the leader is likely incapable of effectively leading those who hold differing opinions or perspectives out of fear of their own shortcomings or a blow to their ego. True leadership will welcome opposing views and not exclude different perspectives because they understand that organizations need people that challenge the status quo, question authority and ultimately drive innovation with new ideas. To make quality decisions leaders need to consider many perspectives, even those that run contrary to what they believe to be true. The alternative results in decisions being made with blind spots and will eventually lead to an absence of open communication and a stifling work environment. Existence of this much ego cries for a change in the players.
4. Countless String of Bad Decisions
Leadership teams are responsible for an endless series of decisions, ranging from the simple and tactical to complex and strategic – all of which determine the fate of an organization. Many organizations are finding themselves being led by leaders that lack focus and vision, mismanage resources, cater to their self-interest and driven by corporate politics – resulting in a cycle of one poor decision after another. This doomed path is often rooted in achieving short-term results which will only hurt an organization and its employees in the long term. If your organization lacks a conscientious leadership team that is vigilant in monitoring the results and implications of their decisions and aren’t afraid to forego their ego and reverse course for the greater good, it is time for a change.
5. People Are Quitting
There’s only but so long that an organization can blame the flurry of resignations on the “millennial job-hopping generation” or on “employees not being the right fit”. If a company’s employee turnover is on a steady rise, it’s time to question the effectiveness of the leadership team. While there are several reasons for both voluntary and involuntary turnover, high turnover is irrefutably a result of poor leadership. Employees who do not believe in their leadership are motivated to seek out opportunities elsewhere with the end result being organizations losing not only their top performers, but those employees that have important historical knowledge and solid relationships with its customers. Stop the hemorrhaging and come to the realization that a leadership change is necessary to ensure the progress of your organization.
The existence of the above signs within an organization is often known – the challenge lies in attaining a level of consciousness and boldness to take action to make the personnel changes required to move forward. What will you do?