This is not something new. Everyone in a working class today knows what I am talking about. Just type on Google „my boss is“ and immediately the following auto-complete options pop up : „crazy“, „mean“, „incompetent“, „ a control freak“, “bulling me to quit “ and so on. There are also a lot of opinions surveys that produce similar results. For example according to Gallup which is a global polling firm that periodically collects attitudinal data from employees all over the world, 75% of people quit their jobs because of their direct line manager. Such results reveal the bad leadership as the Nr.1 cause of voluntary turnover worldwide. In U.S.A. for example 65% of Americans say they would rather change their boss than get a pay raise. This shortsighted response fails to recognize that the next boss might not be any better, but worse. This is general valid in Europe at the big scale too.
In small companies this phenomenon is unfortunately turning bad for employees quite fast, because at any sign of loosing some market share or simply because some delay in project planning due to incompetent management the first to be laid off are the regular employees which actually do their job well. The mentality of many managers is that job-market is abundant of job seekers therefore in their mind it is not a problem to hire new people when the things come back to normal.
In big (multinational) corporations it happens quite often too. In this case such companies loose a huge amount of money due to too many poor, bad, incompetent, unskilled, very low trained managers. Big corporations have literally too many completely unnecessary management position at many levels. That’s the reason why many such corporations try to cover the poor leadership by launching a recruiting campaign where they push a lot o fake propaganda by posting all sort of job openings and lying very credible the job-seekers that if they apply of a job at the company there will be a lot of benefits for them and wonderful career opportunities, brainwashing the candidates as they will join the perfect workplace. I very much cases I’ve met many people who told me that they talked about something at the interview and after signing for and starting the job, something else was delivered. It happened to me too. 🙂
What to make of the obvious fact that most “leaders” inept or otherwise, are male ? (well… this word is a too high title for many with this rank – difference between being a leader and a manager is quite big, I will talk about that later in a future post, but for now I will just say « Manager» instead of « Leader ») ,
Since women make up around 50% of the adult population and throughout much of the industrialized world, outnumber and outperform men in college, we might expect at least equal representation of women and men in Leadership positions. And yet the reality disagrees. In most parts of the world the notion of leadership (or board management) is so masculine that most people would struggle to name a famous female business leader.
The under-representation of women in leadership is not due to their lack of motivation, but to our inability to detect incompetence in men. When men are considered for leadership positions, the same traits that predict their downfall are commonly mistaken – even celebrated – as a sign of leadership potential or talent. Consequently men’s character flaws help them emerge as leaders because they are disguised as attractive leadership qualities.
Oh really ? hell no… traits like overconfidence and self-absorption should be seen as red flags. But instead they prompt us to say « Ah, there’s a charismatic fellow ! He’s probably leadership material ». I don’t want to enter in politics field, but to be more specific both business and politics is a surplus of incompetent men in charge and this surplus reduces opportunities for competent people – women & men – while keeping the standards of leadership depressingly low. In the world there are many rich countries in natural resources and people with great potential, but they are doomed to stay in poverty due to their very weak leadership. Many companies are exactly like such countries. Multinational corporations still survive because they have capital reserve but in the Start-Ups World many go bankrupt and simply disappear in their first 5 years of existence. All these just because they promote at high levels the management incompetence and the lack of vision on mid and long term.
If you have ever worked in an office, then you have very probably experienced a particular form of bad management displayed by bossed who seem unaware of their limitations and are clearly and unjustifiably pleased with themselves. They are overconfident, abrasive and very much in awe of themselves, particularly in light of their actual talents. They are their own biggest fans by some distance.
Instead of treating leadership like some kind of glamorous career destination or personal reward for reaching the top, we should remember that leadership is a resource for the organization – it is good only when employees benefit from it, by boosting their motivation and performance. Elevating the standards of leadership should not be the top priority.
In business a bad manager significantly affects subordinates by reducing their engagement – their enthusiasm for their jobs and the meaning and purpose people find at work. There are many surveys performed which report that a staggering 70% of employees are not engaged at work and that only 4% of these employees have anything nice to say about their bosses. Therefore it is quite clearly that good leadership is not the norm, but the exception. Productivity loss is not the only downside of disengagement. Disengaged employees are also more likely to quit their jobs. Employee turnover incurs a huge burden, including separation costs, damaged morale and productivity losses associated with the time and resources needed to find and train newcomers.
If the leader takes care of its employees, the employees will take care of business, not the other way around. The leaders must always “eat last”. That’s just a short difference between a “manager” (who most of the time tries to keep everything for himself) and a leader.