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Do you manage your teams with an iron-fist?

Do you manage your team with an iron-fist?
If you do STOP! 
Managers that attempt to lead with an iron-fist are still out there. I want to talk about these managers and why they should not be in leadership roles. I want to talk about managers, not leaders. Have you experienced this type of manager? I don’t like to call them leaders because quite honestly, if they are attempting to lead with an iron fist, they are not leaders, they are managers. So managers, if you ever want to be a leader, read on. 

If you manage your team by control, intimidation or some sort of dictatorship, you are not leading and quite frankly, you should not be a manager. This type of management is historically ineffective in the workplace. Think about it.  Do you want to be led this way? Do you want to come to work each day and wonder what idiocy your manager will invoke for the day? What about your comfort level at work? Is this an environment that inspires you to do better?  As I update my resume I say, no thanks! I have no interest in working for someone that has a “me complex”. I will not support a manager that attempts to intimidate me. 

As an authoritarian leader, not only does your team not care for you but they also don’t trust you. How can they? Why should they?

So, what should be happening? How can we coach a manager to be a leader?

If manage your team with an iron-fist and you want to do better, stop doing these things:
  • Threatening employees
  • Intimidating employees
  • Bribing employees
  • Being secretive 
  • Acting as if employee pay comes out of your pocket
  • Treating employees as if they are lucky they have you
  • Making every decision in a silo
  • Attempting to control everything and everyone
  • Never, ever blame. Never!
Instead, one step at a time, incorporate some of the following behaviors to transition to a leader of people:

Show encouragement and empathy to your team members

  • As a leader, you represent the company, not yourself. Help your team understand what it means to support the organization, whether you agree with every decision they make or not. Trust me, you will not always agree. That’s ok. Support them regardless.
  • Be a transparent leader, be honest about what you need and why you need it. This will build trust.
  • Ask your team for input. Get ideas from them.  You might just be surprised.
  • Lighten up! Sheesh, this is your job, not your life. 
  • Be accountable. Always!

This is just a start but it is a good start. Begin slowly and as your new behaviors become natural to you, take on another. 

Iron-fisted managers are a dime a dozen. Anyone can be a lousy manager. Make a difference. Be different. Be inspiring. Show your team what it is like to have a great leader. Be great!

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