How to Be a Better Leader – Say Goodbye to These 3 Management Habits

How to Be a Better LeaderThere’s no denying that there’s been a change, an evolution, in the business world – especially when it comes to the relationship between an organization and its employees.  As employees’ needs, values and expectations shift, employers are increasingly recognizing that they must adapt to the modern workforce if they’re going to attract and retain top-quality employees.  One element of that adaptation is welcoming opportunities to help each manager be a better leader.

Why Leadership Styles & Management Habits Matter

We all want to have a team of highly engaged and loyal employees, but the reality is most workers don’t feel that way towards their job.  In fact, Gallup reported that only 33% of the American workforce is engaged (aka enthusiastic about and committed to their work and employer) and 51% are either actively looking or at least watching for new job opportunities.  And there’s a great deal of evidence pointing to very similar statistics in Canada.

Here are some important statistics to consider:

  • Only 1 in 5 employees “strongly agree” that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.
  • Only 22% of employees strongly agree that the leadership of their organization has a clear direction for the organization.
  • Only 15% of employees strongly agree that the leadership of their organization makes them enthusiastic about the future.
  • Only 13% of employees strongly agree that the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization.

So, one thing is clear.  The old ways aren’t working, and it’s time to take action.

#1: From Accepting Credit -to- Sharing Credit

It’s time to say goodbye to the old “top-down recognition model.”  For generations, it’s been standard practice for managers to receive the credit and shoulder the consequences for their team’s performance.  This meant that the employees who put in the hard work rarely got real recognition for their contributions.

How to be a better leader:  Take a team-building approach with your leadership style.  Celebrate team members’ successes – and do it often and publicly.  Not only does this practice contribute to the individual employee’s satisfaction, but it also models desired behaviours for others.

#2: From Micromanaging -to- Coaching

Perhaps it was because of the top-down recognition model mentioned above, but it was common for managers to feel they needed to approve everything their team did.  This causes a whole range of direct issues, such as creating unnecessary bottlenecks in workflow, but it also produces many indirect issues, including disengaged and disempowered employees.

How to be a better leader:  Focus on the goals of helping employees navigate their workload and improving their ability to learn, perform and problem-solve.  Encourage individuals to analyze situations, explore options and generate strategies – the foundation of a Coaching Mindset.

#3: From Intimidation -to- Empowerment

There was a time when ‘leadership’ seemed synonymous with ‘having all the answers’ or a ‘my way or the highway’ methodology.  It was common for managers to use fear-tactics to ensure their employees were falling into line and meeting every deadline.  Obviously, that’s frowned upon these days, but many managers still have these behavioural undertones (although they may not realize it).

How to be a better leader:  Recognize that there’s no way for you, as a human being, to know everything about every “thing.”  The more you empower your employees to collaborate, think creatively and speak up with their ideas, the more impact the team will have.

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Take the Next Step.  We Can Help You Be a Better Leader!

At FocalPoint Canada, we guide our clients in overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities with proven processes and methodologies that have been used by thousands of successful businesses over the past two decades.  Our FocalPoint business coaches use their expertise to teach our time-tested methods through individual coaching, group sessions, or trainings and workshops.

It all starts with a conversation.  Call us at 866-761-1616 or email

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