Some management styles prove unpopular to employees, yet as long as profits are positive, managers have little motivation to change. After all, some of history’s most successful leaders seem to share certain characteristics such as arrogance and insensitivity. Take the late Steve Jobs, for example. Jobs was accused of being mean-spirited, arrogant and dictatorial, yet which company was named biggest tech company in the world by Forbes in 2016? Apple.
Profits aside, insensitivity and ruffling feathers can be damaging to employee development and overall counterproductive to innovation. Instead, a competent business leader should inspire continuous improvement to cultivate a creative company. While many bosses understand this concept, it can be easy to slip into patterns that subvert the cycle of consistent company advancement. Thus, it’s necessary to understand three key traits that negatively impact employee productivity.
Lack of emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage not only one’s own emotions but also to empathize with and manage others’ emotions.
Leaders with low emotional intelligence become their own worst enemies. When they are in a bad mood, frustrated or stressed, it creates tension in the office. While they may not become physically violent, their words and actions may destroy an otherwise safe atmosphere, undermining creativity, innovation and performance. Lack of emotional intelligence hits the bottom line annually to the tune of $400 billion in lost productivity.
Inability to share credit
A key component to good leadership is selflessness. A quote that’s been attributed to multiple people, including Ronald Reagan, says it best: “There is no limit to what a man can accomplish if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” Managers who fail to recognize this and take all the credit for their employees’ hard work will find that they lose the trust of those team members.
A boss who is quick to pass the blame on to employees and is unaccountable for his or her own actions also sets a poor example. Not only does it fill the office with fear and anxiety, it can turn the entire office into one big “blame game.” According to Alina Tugend, author of Better by Mistake, research shows that workers tend to copy the bad behavior of blaming and perpetuate the problem.
Instead of taking credit that is not theirs and passing on blame that is, business leaders with high emotional intelligence understand their role within the company. They are there simply to get the right people in the right seats on the bus, keep gas in the engine, and ensure the proper route is being taken. When things go awry, the blame rests squarely on their shoulders; when success is met, credit is shared equally among the team.
Tendencies to micromanage
Bosses often assume that micromanagement demonstrates good leadership, but the opposite is true. Micromanaging is a fear-based behaviour that has a negative effect on employee engagement and productivity. If a boss is a micromanager, employee strengths are not nurtured. In time, morale dives as employees lose faith in their boss’s trust in them. This hampers their drive to succeed, destroys organizational innovation, and decreases growth potential for both the employees and the company.
Growing a company takes creativity. Ideation only occurs in safe, empowering environments. Thus, leaders must walk the talk by modeling the culture as well as teaching and preaching it. Everybody has eyes on the boss. Certainly, managers have the latitude to have a bad day, but conducting themselves in ways that create a toxic culture will eventually destroy the company. Good leaders recognize that culture drives organizations. When the culture is good, you will get employees who grow along with the company and have an overall positive impact on the bottom line.