Depict quality leadership to make a difference
A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting - Russell H Ewing
Some bosses work hard to reach the pinnacle of success. They truly deserve success as they possess all the exemplary qualities of a leader and bring in positivity to the work environment. But there are others too- bosses, who exercise power and position not through merit but by alternate means. Some are selected because the management has no other option. However, it is not difficult to identify a bad boss.
Perceptible causes for workers being discontented at work are awful administration and bad bosses. A bad boss can turn a first-rate work environment to a dreadful one simply with his behaviour and character. Sadly, there are a substantial number of them who are insensitive to the work environment and exploit naive subordinates.
It is critical for these bosses to win at any cost and in all situations. They keep throwing their weight around. In case of any discussion, the final word will be invariably theirs. These bosses are synonymous to balloons filled with ego.
Their priority is self preservation. When they fault at work, the blame is promptly passed on to others. They are often intolerant of sharing recognition or acknowledging the efforts of others and portray every success as their own. Under the pretext of distribution, unimportant or the most difficult tasks are dumped on to scapegoats.
The more conspicuous and attention-grabbing components of the task are retained by them. They cannot be trusted at all. Problems shared are not kept confidential which invariably results in gossip. They carry tales and probe co-workers for information and gossips. They also encourage sycophancy. They are not gracious enough to admit their mistake.
They are opinionated and prejudiced towards some people and encourage favouritism. Employees do not get what they look up to, in a boss.
Due to the lack of knowledge and proficiency, they are unable to resolve issues, not able to offer solutions and not able to guide people in crucial issues.
Some techniques adopted by them involve showing derision, making derogatory remarks and cracking stale jokes. They presume that they are humorous and it is expected that people laugh and eulogise them.
They suppress the subordinates who excel at work. They act in ways absolutely differing to set standards. They indulge in hypocrisy by insisting that others follow norms of behaviour that they themselves do not. They have one set of rules for themselves and a quite different for others.
They envy and demean the performance of other leaders or counterparts who do well in other departments. These bosses seek control in all areas which do not come under their purview.
Hunger for power makes them insecure and negative in their approach and they end up bad mouthing the top management. At the same time, they are the people who paint a different picture about colleagues to their bosses.
According to workplace researchers Sharon Jordan Evans and Beverly Kaye (quoted in How to deal with a bad boss), when people quit, they don’t leave a company, they leave a bad boss. Surveys show that up to 75 per cent of employees who leave their jobs do so at least in part because of their manager.
They also stated that employees in the exit interview dutifully performed by HR may say that they quit for better prospects or a shorter commute out of the switch, but in anonymous surveys the truth comes out: My bad boss drove me away.
Most bosses are ignorant of the fact that they make people feel miserable at work. Some know that they are wrong and try to improve. These bosses need help and guidance in order to do better. There are others who persistently decline to admit that they are bad.
They are beyond help and may never change and progress. The subordinates stay away and quietly move on when they find no solution to handle such bosses. These bosses are deplorable leaders with inflated ego.
Bosses can transform the work environment by either giving superior quality or dreadful tasks. This is why a good relationship with the boss is so significant. The co-workers are weakened by bosses intimidating them.
Managements should be aware of such leaders who never let the organisation progress. It is out of insecurity of losing power they behave in an intolerable way. They can for sure change the environment.
In most cases bosses would never agree on this. A feedback would enable the top management to counsel the boss explaining what they could do instead and why that would be better and suggesting specific alternatives make positive changes. Good bosses are truly appreciative of positive, useful feedback and will be grateful to learn how to do a better job.
When we talk about good leadership, it signifies that the person has demonstrated leadership qualities in due course of time in the organisation. They are people who are unwavering and drive the team to realise continuous sustained results.
The first quality of a good leader is to listen to what his team says when it comes to planning and implementation. A good boss is one who is committed to his job. He needs to demonstrate that commitment and direction which, in turn, would lead to success. Secondly, he should be a visionary and create a vision for the future. He should procure support and ideas of people around him to create that great vision.
Thirdly, a good leader displays high degree of emotional intelligence that makes him a highly admired and adored person.
Fourthly, he is principled and holds people accountable. A good leader gives truth supreme importance and values in practice by being a role model. He can achieve this by continuously working on self development and organisational growth.
We need to replace our negative thoughts with positive ones in order to be an effective and efficient leader.
To be a good leader one should have ethics and to be concerned about the well being of the organisation and people.
The leader should be concerned with doing a job well instead of looking at the financial and supplementary benefits emanating from the same. All the benefits would accrue to the leader when he performs best.
Effective and efficient leaders are passionate about their work and also about their role as leaders. People will respond openly and sincerely to a passionate and committed leader.
It is entirely the performance, actions, aptitude and competence that make a successful leader. The key ingredients of leadership are to have a sense of purpose, vision and mission and care for others.
Superior leaders gain followers out of admiration, reverence and their ability to make people work together. Bosses need to use authority and influence ethically in a way that does not threaten the people nor coerce them at any point of time. A Good leader needs to build trust. Employees need to have faith and trust in the leadership.
It is only through exemplary behavior that one can win the heart and confidence of people around them.
A good leader is a pro-active person. He can foresee the future. Leadership fails when a leader is reckless. Further, leadership is about being competent, technically sound and above all a good communicator. A successful leader makes sure that he is progressive in terms of leadership skills, interpersonal skills and knowledge in his field of expertise.
Wilfred Peterson rightly said, ‘The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding your personality into the man you want to be. Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others’
(The writer is Director-PG Department of Management Studies, Adarsh Institute of Management and Information Technology, Bangalore)