In business, the fastest way to get from where you are to where you want to be is not always the shortest path. It is actually the path of least resistance. And, that path is likely paved by sustainable high quality leadership.
If you have ever had a bad boss, you are very aware of the negative effects of engagement and performance. In fact, you may have found yourself disengaged in the direction of the company simply due to poor communication, resentments, unspoken communications, etc. However, there are very simple solutions and opportunities to lead-up.
Building on a previous post on business sustainability leadership qualities, a new article, Talent Matters: How to Manage a Bad Manager, explains that most bad habits or behaviors are changeable and that sustainable leadership today goes both ways.
• Identify the bad behaviors. Understanding exactly what the manager is or is not doing will help you support them in getting better.
• Provide tailored support. When any employee, manager or not, is failing to adequately perform, it’s your job to provide feedback, counseling, and support. Once you know what behaviors you want the manager to change, sit down with the manager to discuss the specifics of the situation.
• Make expectations clear. It may be that managers are unaware of their responsibilities for people development. Perhaps they are overly focused on achieving targets or snowed under with other tasks. Make it clear that managing his people well is an important part of the job.
• Document progress. Make sure to keep a record of your conversation and confirm in writing with the manager what she has agreed to do and how you plan to help. Check in regularly and document any progress.
The reality is that traditional top-down business models and methodologies are giving way to new innovative means to navigating the complex waters of today’s more complex stakeholder relationships. As we collectively bridge this gap and simultaneously explore new pathways, turbulence may result. Effective sustainable leadership will smooth the way.