There are many issues that businesses face – from marketing to sales to technical, but the worst of them is a leadership problem. When leadership is lacking, it affects all aspects of the business and company culture. Good leadership, on the other hand, can turn around a business and radically change and improve business performance. A leader is, by definition, someone at the forefront of the business, making the decisions that impact both the business and the employees. Good leadership is a skill, and while many think they have it, the truth is that most people are lacking in good leadership skills required to build and grow a business. However, on the bright side, leadership skills can be learned and improved upon through consistent effort.
Below are three leadership traits that can hurt a business:
1. Lack of vision for the future
CEOs and leaders tend to have a general idea of where they seethe business heading. For instance, they might have a goal of selling X products by the end of the year. However, while these numbers might sound nice, if a leader isn’t able to break down their vision into a more digestible format, then that vision will be hard to translate into reality. This means having a breakdown of goals into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily benchmarks, as well as concrete ideas of how to achieve the vision.
Every leader should ask themselves what they would like their business or team to look like and by when? In addition, they should also be asking the ‘how’ and ‘what’ questions that will allow them to build strategies to attain their vision.
2. Lack of investment in the team
A key characteristic of a well performing company is talented, well-informed, knowledgeable, and motivated employees. However, it is foolish to expect everyone coming into your team to have those skill sets and characteristics already instilled in them. Employees are rarely going to have the same dedication and commitment to the company as leaders and entrepreneurs. However, once leaders know and accept this fact, they can do something about it.
The key is to hire employees but transform them into team members. As a leader, it is your job to make employees to feel like they are a part of the family and their contribution is integral to the company’s success. A leader is also responsible for investing time and resources into employees to ensure they are properly trained, equipped, and engaged.
3. Lack of communication
Last but not least, communication can make or break a business. A study conducted by Harvard Business School concluded poor communication was the reason behind the downfall of a number of large corporations such as British Petroleum, Nokia, and Thai Airways. Bad communication usually occurs because either leaders don’t want to hurt the feelings of their team members or leaders make assumptions about their team members.
As Brandon Webb notes, “As a leader, it is essential to be able to clearly communicate your vision to your employees and have tough talks with them when necessary. Clear, honest, and open communication leads to employees that trust and engage with management, rather than fostering resentment.”