Derek is the head of a large division. He’s technically brilliant, a great strategic thinker, with strong analytical skills, and tremendous drive for delivering results. Derek’s impressive track record garners respect. He’s fairly personable and most people like him. These are the reasons he’s had a series of promotions and is one of the youngest executives in the company.
But Derek’s divisional performance is now stalling and he’s getting increasingly frustrated. His management team is getting fractious and silo walls are growing thick and high throughout his division. Cooperation and teamwork is slipping along with energy and engagement levels. Absenteeism is soaring and customer service as well as productivity levels are sliding.
Despite his strengths, Derek’s become a bad boss. He doesn’t rant, rave, publicly embarrass, or bully anyone. It’s not what he’s doing that makes him a bad boss. It’s what he’s not doing. His sins of leadership omission are dragging people and performance down. And his flaws are becoming fatal to his career.
Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman have an intriguing blog in Harvard Business Review drawing from their research encompassing leaders like Derek. They analyzed the behavior of 30,000 managers as seen by 300,000 of their direct reports, peers, and managers in 360-degree evaluations. They looked further at the bottom 1% and bottom 10% for predictive signs of their extremely poor ratings and performance. They also analyzed data from executives who’d just been fired for explanations of their failure.
The results of their study led to identifying 10 fatal flaws listed in rank order of most to least fatal. Go to “Are You Sure You’re Not a Bad Boss” to review the list. Dozens of comments following their blog add further dimensions to the discussion.
Based on this article, Joe Folkman has produced a complimentary (no charge) webinar The Uninspiring Leader: 10 Fatal Flaws That Cripple Leaders’ Effectiveness.