If you have been in a leadership position, you have probably gone through a time when you didn’t feel very effective. Perhaps it was a time when you were sitting at your desk wondering what to do next. Maybe you felt overwhelmed with the tasks at hand and felt like giving up. This might have happened when you had staff that seemed out of control. Typically, there are three reasons why leaders flounder and here are some things you can do about it if you are feeling ineffective.
Lack of Goals: When we start working with a company one of the first things, we do is try to determine the goals of not only the company but the leader as well. Without clearly understanding what the leader is trying to achieve within the company as well as outside of work, it's difficult to set priorities in the correct order. In some cases, the goals of the leader might at first seem to be at odds with the company. For example, if a leader needs to find more balance and work less hours while the company is demanding higher sales or better results, the leader you might think that your job is in jeopardy. This doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, some of the best leaders work less and accomplish more.
Without understanding what our leadership goals are both at work and in our personal life, we can often struggle with our leadership. Gaining clarity about what is important and then coming up with a plan to achieve what is required for the company and ourselves can be a huge relief for leaders who think that their self worth is tied to work.
A lack of goals for your team can also affect your ability to lead. A team without a goal is lost and will lose focus on the important aspects of their jobs.
Lack of Accountability: As leaders we often have very few people who are keeping us accountable moving forward. If we own the business, we are typically accountable only to ourselves and to the tax department. In a non profit we are accountable to a board; however, in many cases the board looks to the CEO or Executive Director for leadership. In bureaucratic organizations, leaders are often left to their own devices. This lack of oversight of leadership frequently leads to complacency and mediocrity. Not only do the leaders start slipping but the culture of that lack of accountability starts to flow throughout the organization. In order to overcome this, leaders need to look for outside support and or develop team meetings that foster a culture of ownership and accountability for one’s actions.
Poor Choice Management: Many leaders are overwhelmed. While they may have a vague understanding of where they want to go, they lack the ability to manage their time and choices in order to arrive there. Often as leaders we let ourselves be interrupted constantly. We fail to plan our days, and weeks. We manage our time and resources unwisely. Leaders who can block their time to ensure that they are effective in getting tasks completed and make astute choices concerning their organization are often seen as great leaders.
While at times, we all flounder as leaders, focusing on our time and choice management, keeping our teams and ourselves accountable and creating a vision of where we are going will reduce our stress and enable us to have better outcomes. Isn’t that what you are trying to achieve?
Dave Fuller, MBA, is an Award-Winning Business Coach who lives in Prince
George, British Columbia and is the author of the book “Profit Yourself Healthy”.
Find yourself floundering? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.