High Heel Consulting Blog

It is time for Leadership to really change, businesses need to hold managers to account for the welfare of their people; We all want great leaders to be decent humans who REALLYcare about other people and their welfare.

We see so many people quick to call out lack of Care for our planet, the Horrible treatment of animals, yet Poor Leaders everyday are getting away with BREAKING PEOPLES’SPIRIT?

After spending a number of years working as a senior executive and witnessing first hand good leadership versus poor leadership and the impacts it can have on people around them; I have seen first-hand toxic managers receive promotion after promotion, yet treat others poorly and seeing the negative outcomes on people around them; Yes, they influence up very well!

While leaders who are empathic, caring and have high integrity are stepped over due to lack of blowing their own trumpet or are just engaged doing the right thing.

Toxic managers are incredibly clever at “managing up” for their own self-interest. Often referred to as “high billing inconsiderates” they drive a great bottom-line for the business, but have zero care for anyone who gets in their way. In fact, most often these people have a win at all cost mentality, meaning get out of my way. They will work to remove you if you are seen as an obstacle for them. We have seen this recently in the Royal Banking Commission with some managers writing large commissions for their companies, taken on elaborate trips to celebrate this, whilst ripping off their clients and treating their colleagues poorly.

Over the past three years I have spent countless hours speaking with motivated, highly educated people who have highlighted just how detrimental it has been working for poor managers. They are fed up with inaction when the business knows it is happening, and yet it is swept under the carpet. If poor performance is left unmanaged you will lose the respect of your people, your credibility and reputation could be damaged.

These managers (let’s face it they aren’t leaders) they have their own agenda, are driven by their own self-interest, and have an “It’s my way or the highway” focus; This is not only driving great staff to leave, they are often ruining peoples’ careers along the way.

We see too often the “bully manager” who is let off the hook by senior management because they too are afraid to have the “hard conversation”, often themselves too scared to take this person on. The business festers, the good performers self-select and leave, ultimately leaving the business to suffer through poor growth or performance to the bottom-line.

We all know these managers, they are the ones who spend more time in their managers office “influencing” their own agenda, they have a short fuse under pressure, staff won’t approach them when a mistake is made, water cooler discussions are rife and sick leave is generally high in their team.

Only last night did this really hit home. I was attending a dinner party where all of the women present had been invited by the host because she wanted to talk to them about building their courage. The host recognised that each woman has been going through a tough time at work. All of them have felt manipulated, bullied and undervalued by their current manager/s (both male and female managers).

Two of these incredibly smart and well-educated women recently being forced out of their jobs because of megalomaniacs who had their own agenda.

They shared examples of leadership meetings, being the only female at the table, offering up and idea, only to have it knocked back by the male group. A few minutes go by, a male manager offers up the same idea, only worded a little differently, and the group love it.

Last night the women were talking about if they challenged or highlighted that they had raised the same idea earlier, they would be accused as being aggressive or emotional.

Another has a war story around losing her job recently, was accused of being too aggressive in her approach, yet her male colleagues were supported and promoted for the exact behaviour.

This research is staggering.

Women all over the world at the dinner parties, lunches and get togethers have similar war stories; Their Spirits are being eroded and confidence severely damaged. It is really time to act and stand together to stamp out poor Leadership, all of us.

The “So What?”

It is time people, we need Company owners, Directors and Senior leaders to take a strong stance on poor leadership styles. Set high ethical leadership standards each and every day and challenge them more often.

We know poor leadership style leads to a business spending time, money and resources backfilling lost staff members who were committed and loyal. Research tell us “people don’t leave businesses, they leave poor leaders”

Last year, millennials exceeded Gen X as the largest age group in the workforce, meaning that their influence will last and grow for years to come. Studies show 80% of Millennials, looking to join a company, first and foremost care more about a company’s culture than they do about pay and incentives.

Is your culture a walking example of poor leadership or are you leading from the front and driving a supportive, empathic workplace where everyone is allowed to bring their whole self to work?

Set clear Leadership standards in your business, watch how your leaders affect others. Are they leading or managing?

Here are some useful tips for your business:

  • Undertake an annual culture survey with all of your people (not just a select few), it must be anonymous and have verbatim comments for richness of information.
  • Include questions around leadership style and ask for direct feedback ie. are your leaders trusted, open and providing a safe learning environment?
  • Act on the feedback received by dealing with poor leadership styles, have the hard conversation.
  • Build a safe environment for your staff to provide regular feedback on how their leader is performing.
  • Allow and Encourage people to bring their whole selves to work and nurture open, courageous conversations.
  • If you recognise a poor leadership style in yourself, front into it, seek coaching support from a leader who has engaged staff, own it and make the necessary changes.
  • If you have poor leaders in your business, take action.
  •  Remember, Leaders cast long shadows – What is your shadow?

 Finally, don’t be that leader everyone is talking about at the dinner party, don’t be “that person” who bullies others, has a vested self-interest and manages up for your own benefit.

Be the Positive Change Making Leader.

#leadership #culture #people #integrity #care

Developing Leaders and Businesses to be future proof.
Kristen Raison
  • 0488 440 500
  • kristen@highheelconsulting.com.au
  • Australia

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