David just escaped from a full-time job in a toxic work environment where the best employees quit, and the worst people got promoted to management jobs. The people with all the ideas were shunned and pushed aside; they soon left the organization while the tush-kissers with no plans got promoted.
The harder David worked, the worse he got treated. When a completely unqualified person got promoted to be his manager because that manager had a personal relationship with one of the VPs, that was the last straw; David resigns. It was hard for him to leave the company he worked so hard for, but he felt a huge weight lifted off his shoulders the minute he was out of there.
I read this story from Liz Ryan’s article in Forbes, and it is so reminiscent of so many people experiences in many organizations worldwide. Great employees, who came into the organization with an inspired heart and a spark in their eyes ready to make a difference, got uninspired and demotivated when they soon realized this is not the right environment for anyone to work in.
The 20th-century style of leadership is dead.
Effective leadership is the most critical factor for organizational success in the 21st century. The pyramid structure of the 20th century, according to Erin Binney, worked when manufacturing companies employed most of the workers, and the employment contract was strictly transactional. In this system, employees came to work, did their jobs, collected wages, and went home. Leading by fear and intimidation was the order of the day. There was a physical and emotional distance between leaders and employees. Leaders sat in offices removed from the manufacturing floor and viewed employees only as a cost of labor, not as individuals with lives outside of work.
Unfortunately, many companies are still operating with this ideology where communication is stagnated; silos are the order of the day, employees are disrespected in front of their entire team, and leaders have a vested interest in building a bureaucracy to protecting the status quo and keep their jobs, even though this isn’t necessarily in the best interests of the company.
Pseudo – Leader
You have to be very careful about the people who call themselves a leader, especially the ones with Pseudo - Leadership tendencies. Many of these people are only concerned about their well being, nothing else. Fearful employees stick around because they get so institutionalized; they believe every company has the same management or culture. For these employees, it’s typical for a manager and their employees to engage in gossip, typical for their manager to shout at their staff, normal to work in a constant state of fear, and to routinely hide from their manager if something goes wrong. Yes, hide, you will not believe the kind of environment some people have to endure.
Your title doesn’t make you a leader.
It's amazing how many people believe that people will automatically respect and listen to them once they obtain a certain title or level of leadership. According to Forbes Coaches Council, they believe that with that title comes influence. Your title may mean people report to you, and it may give you the power to control them, but influence is about producing results and creating change. As a leader, you can gain more influence by tapping into the “heart” of those you want to affect. We need fewer title-driven leaders and more influential leaders because, as a leader, you have the ability to impact a person's character and behavior — a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly.
The effects of fear-based tactics can negatively impact employee engagement, customer experience, and even brand reputation, according to Rose Krivich. When employees are stressed and fearful, this dissatisfaction can seep into conversations with clients. Their frustrations with their’ organization’s culture may be voiced word of mouth or via the internet, serving as a red flag to potential candidates.
Fear dis-empowers and turns employees’ attention inward instead of outward, according to Tom Flick. Staff members who are led by fear go into survival mode.
They are no longer interested in the company’s outcome, the quality of the product or service, or the customer experience. Instead, they’re concerned with keeping their jobs and not stepping on toes.
Never settle for a toxic, fear-based organization; it’s not good for your professional development, your health, and your energy; there are many options out there, take advantage of all because you deserve better.
The Inspirational Leader
Can you inspire your team's hearts and minds every day?
Inspiration creates the highest levels of engagement, it is what separates the best leaders from everyone else, and it is what employees want most in their leaders. The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible was written to help all leaders successfully navigate all the disruptions in today's fiercely competitive world.
Each chapter in this book will push you to become the leader you were destined to be; a leader of influence, a leader of value, a leader of vision, and most importantly, an inspirational leader.