Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Cause and Effect of Poor Leadership

Good leadership is like the light, permeating into every aspect of the business; and poor leadership is like the shadow, darkening many areas of the organization.

Leadership debate is never ending. the leadership impact for the business is just like the light on the road when you drive in the dark. What’s the cause and effect of poor leadership? What’s the biggest negative or most serious impact on employees when leadership is poor?

Poor leadership is “misleading” or lack of vision: Without a direction, employees are aimless. They don't know what the goals are of the company and they don't know why they are working with specific processes. They will accomplish only mechanically, not with any intelligent direction towards a common goal. Employee productivity gets the biggest hit as they are directed less in an ambiguous work environment. Poor leadership also leads to frustration in employees as decision making is either crippled or biased. Thus leading to employee dissatisfaction and attrition in few cases.

Poor leadership causes huge gaps between strategy and execution: Most of the managers with poor leadership skills cause a huge gap in the strategy making, the process of the work; the communications between departments, and the capabilities to execute strategy. Poor leadership can cause the cognitive gaps because they only “like” the people who both look and think like themselves, such homogeneous team setting causes cognitive gaps in strategy making and capability gaps in strategy execution. And micro-management causes employees to feel stressful and lack of trust. Further, when employees thought that they would be heard when they go to leaders, whether on an issue, or idea or anything else, the 'poor' leaders do either of the following things; they over promise and under deliver, or just keep postponing decisions, or worse, they just thrust their own agendas on them. Hence, there are both communication gaps and execution gaps caused by poor leadership.

Poor leadership is the root cause of the culture of mediocrity: Poor leadership effects on the improvement of the employees within the group, where the employee will remain with same performance till an action is taken by the management to solve the leadership issues. The employee is left wondering whether the growth of employees is at all in the list of those leaders. And they start to emulate their style of managing people and business decisions. This goes on and flows down the chain of command, eventually becoming a culture in the organization, breeding contempt and mediocrity...where costs are higher, quality is low, customer complaints are high. It will also cause turnover for the talent/good employees, where such employees will give up very soon and leave to another environment where they can find the improvements which they are looking for, and on another hand, you will have a big satisfaction by the undesired employees in the company with the result of lack of performance, or long-term capacity. Even business scrapes through on the back of a few good people who still believe that things will change by changing processes and procedures, introducing new and innovative products, robust marketing and so on.. but for how long? mediocrity eventually shows its colors in everything an organization does, even the bottom line.

Poor leadership impacts every area of business: Leadership is such a high impact element of a business, and if it's poor, it can lead to retention issues, decreased engagement, scaling issues, low employee performance, and morale, etc. It's one of those things that no matter where poor leadership is coming from (from a front line manager all the way to a top executive member), it will have its repercussions. The impact on employees when leadership is poor includes:
(1) Confusion, misunderstanding
(2) Unable to bond to a common organizational goal / cause
(3) Low morality and culture of mediocrity
(4) Misalignment of "do what you say, say what you mean, mean what you do"
(5) Erosion of integrity, professional values, work ethics etc
(6) Communication from the "leadership" is disregarded, ignored, viewed skeptically.
(7) Unpredictable business performance
(8) Low employee engagement / employee dissatisfaction

Poor leadership impacts every area of business; nothing is exempt. More often, businesses always focus on the impact to employees and ask what areas are the most serious. Good leadership is like the light, permeating into every aspect of the business; and poor leadership is like the shadow, darkening many areas of the organization. Leadership is the key leading ingredient of corporate culture, which is the collective mindset, behaviors and brand of business.


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