When a company’s leader is overworked or ineffective, the company suffersKey Takeaways:
- Leaders pulled in too many directions lack focus and follow-through
- Ineffective leadership can affect profits, customer satisfaction, and employee turnover
- To right the ship, step back and observe how your business is running
- A Chief of Staff can relieve you of pressure and your workload
Warning signs of executive ineffectivenessSeveral signposts tell you if your company is suffering from executive ineffectiveness. Once you know the signs, they are easy enough to spot, even when you’re the one doing them. Below are some of the most common.
- Lack of Focus – Good leaders should know how to keep their eye on the ball. Making decisions based on achieving those goals should provide clarity of direction. If your leadership direction is more scattershot without a clear end goal, it could be a sign you’re spread too thin.
- Satisfied with Status Quo – Being content to coast is a sign you’ve got too much on your plate. When pulled in multiple directions, changing your thinking to “We’re doing fine ” can be very tempting. Let’s just ride this out.” True leaders know the only way to excel is to keep pushing forward.
- Lack of Customer Focus – When you’re too busy putting out fires every day to focus on your company’s greatest asset – your customers – it’s a tell-tale sign you’re trying to do too much with too little time.
- Doing It Yourself – Does doing things yourself sometimes feel more accessible than training someone else? While this may get you over the hump during a stressful day, it’s not an ideal solution to a problem. As the company’s leader, your time is too valuable to spend on tasks you’ve outgrown.
The costs of ineffective leadershipIf you’re doing a poor job steering the ship, it can cost your business a lot more than just your time. Here are some ways your ineffective leadership can affect your company.
- Employee Turnover – If you have it stuck in your mind that you are the only person for the job ‘because it’s easier,’ your company will likely experience higher-than-average staff turnover. Employees who don’t feel comfortable or respected in their roles will want to take their talents elsewhere.
- Less Satisfied Customers – Ineffective leadership takes its toll on your customer base. Maybe deadlines are missed. Or work is shoddy. Whatever the effect, it adds up, and your clients are sure to notice.
- Loss of Profits – Is your company failing to meet deadlines? Or failing to meet customer expectations? These and other effects will soon hit your company where it hurts the most – your profits. Unfortunately, things may only get worse. As word spreads, your profits may fall even further due to your damaged reputation.
3 ways to fix ineffective executive leadershipThere are several things you can do to improve your own effectiveness. You’ll need to be open to change for them to work. You’ll need to take a deep breath, step back from the daily grind, and look at things globally. Below are three ways you can turn things around in your company.
- Observe What’s Happening – Most leaders who are ‘bottlenecking’ their company’s operations don’t realize they are part of the problem. You need to be honest with yourself and take a good, hard look at everything happening within your company. You’ll need to embrace the idea of change, even if you’re at the root of the issues.
- Set Goals – When you’re just putting out fires each day, it can become too easy to continue along a path of ‘just trying to get through to the end of the day.’ Determine what you need to do to get there. Set both short-term and long-term goals.
- Take Pressure Off Yourself – Give yourself a break…literally! One effective way to improve your company’s leadership is with a Chief of Staff. An effective Chief of Staff takes a great deal of work off your plate. You’ll be able to streamline your operations, drive results, and make better use of your time.