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Just STOP leading badly


After reviewing the motivational research of the last 20 years or so, and by comparing this with what participants in workshops and on our coaching programmes have told us over the past three years, it is very clear what managers should do.

Managers should STOP doing just seven things. We’ve called them the Seven Failings of Really Useless Leaders. And this blog will explore the seven failings in detail over the coming weeks and months.

We’ve run Seven Failings Workshops in Munich, Hong Kong, London and Atlanta over the past 18 months and the response has almost always been the same. Everywhere managers have told us their own examples of poor leadership from one or more of these categories.

And when, in the workshops, we explain the underlying reasons behind the failings, the response is always one of disbelief and exasperation. ‘If we’ve known about these failings for so long, why do we still experience them?’

In this blog we’ll explain as much as we can why we think the failings exist. And it isn’t because most managers are fundamentally ‘bad’ bosses.

Despite the light-hearted approach, smart managers will of course get the message – that inspirational leadership is about a number of key issues:

1) building on the natural enthusiasm of people in the team
2) empathising with people, and especially at the critical moments in their business career when they most need support
3) consistently communicating the vision and strategy for the business and where people fit in
4) focusing on the team, and on the team’s objectives, ensuring that the team has as much input into those objectives as possible.
5) enticing people to perform well, with the right rewards for the right person in the right role
6) being sensitive to the culture or climate
7) and finally that it’s about being scrupulously fair and constantly building trust within the team.

Cutting straight to the chase, you’ll see that inspirational leadership is fundamentally about enthusiasm, empathy and energy. And if you focus your enthusiasm, empathy and energy relentlessly on your people, their performance, productivity and profitability will inevitably increase.

I look forward to working with you on this journey through the Seven Failings of Really Useless Leaders.