Must Read!! 5 Signs Your Leadership Style Is Outdated

Many leaders in the workplace have lost their competitive edge.  They lack the substance that is required to be an effective and sustainable leader.  They have seemingly made the choice to grow complacent and have grown tired of trying to improve their skills and capabilities. Great leaders know that it’s a survival of the fittest game. Just because you are in a leadership position now, doesn’t mean that you will forever remain an effective leader.  This is why many leaders become followers throughout the course of their careers.

Effective leadership is hard work, takes patience and requires you to have sound vision, make smart decisions, and serve others through a passionate pursuit of excellence. Leaders-Managing-Crisis

If you were to define your leadership style in one word, what would it be? Controlling, transparent, collaborative? Are you projecting a leadership style that is engaging, inspiring and forward-thinking?   Have you made the necessary adjustments and / or improvements in your leadership style that will allow you to remain relevant enough to proactively serve the changing demands of the new marketplace?

The most effective leaders know they must continually reinvent themselves.  Most leaders don’t.   They remain satisfied with the status quo and attempt to use the same style and approach – regardless of the individual employees and /or the organization they serve.  This is why they find it difficult to create and sustain momentum in their work and careers.   Rather than find ways to be proactive, they find themselves just floating along and afraid to rock the boat.

Leadership is all about taking risks and knowing when to take them.   If you don’t feel comfortable being uncomfortable  – courageous enough to see and seize opportunities that others don’t and do what others won’t – it is impossible to be  an effective leader.   These are the fundamentals of sustainable leadership.   So look around you and ask yourself the following question:  Has your leadership style become outdated?

If you are uncertain about your answer to this question, here are five signs that tell you that it’s time to reconsider a change in your leadership style and approach.

1.  You Make Bad Decisions

When employees begin to question your leadership judgment, it’s time to step back and evaluate your leadership style and approach.    When leaders begin to consistently make bad decisions, it’s an indication they are becoming out of touch with the new ways of doing business.   They need to recalibrate how to best connect the dots within their workplace culture  – a requirement to grow and compete.

When leaders begin to lose their broadened observation, they become less inclusive and they make shorter-term decisions that may not be in the best interest of the organization.   This results in poor execution, lack of strategic focus, misguided hiring decisions, and the ineffective use of talent and resources.

When leaders begin to grow out of touch with the business, they start to lose confidence, question themselves, and they see through a lens of uncertainty and doubt.

2.  You Grow Complacent

When you lose that drive and will to compete, your leadership style and approach begins to negatively expose your ineffectiveness.   I’ve seen many leaders throughout their careers lose their “it factor” – they grow complacent and their attention to detail begins to wane. They begin to lose their composure,  their executive presence, and their passion for taking risks on the unknown.

When leaders become complacent, they appear to stop caring.  They go with the flow rather than enable the 15 things the most successful leaders do – automatically – every day.   For example, you know that it’s time to revisit your leadership style when you stop being your authentic self and as a result find yourself becoming a victim of workplace bureaucracy.

3.  Your Selfishness

Employees don’t gravitate to leaders who are selfish.  Selfish leaders make it difficult for others to follow them.   When leaders make it apparent that it is more about their own advancement and neglect to support and advance others – their employees check-out.  This is when leaders need to self-assess their leadership style and what they ultimately want to achieve in their careers.

I once worked for a leader who was totally self-absorbed and cared only about himself.  He would self-promote and find ways to expose the deficiencies of others.   He would walk throughout the hallways and talk negatively about the organization and why others should listen to his ideas.   He wasn’t collaborative unless he wanted something from others.   He negatively impacted employee morale and eventually was fired.   This individual was more of a leech than a leader.

4.  Your Likability Factor Falters

Likability is one of the most important factors in the success of a leader.  When employees stop liking their leaders, a leadership style change is in order.   Many leaders don’t know how to manage their own leadership.  They get caught-up in the power and influence of the title and the responsibilities.  They become arrogant rather than grateful for the opportunity and fail to leverage their authority for the greater good.

Great leaders are approachable and you feel their natural warmth and sincerity.  Likeability should be a natural thing.   When you begin to sense that your colleagues are becoming annoyed with your presence than drawn to it – it’s time to change your leadership style and approach.

5.  You Stop Reinventing

If you are afraid of change – then you will find it difficult to reinvent yourself.   If you don’t know how to reinvent yourself, you will find short-lived success as a leader.  Reinventing yourself is another critical success factor of leadership.   Sustainable leadership success is dependent upon being proactive to the changing marketplace and thus requires you to continuously reinvent your style, approach and overall attitude.

If leaders can’t reinvent themselves, then it will be difficult for them to help reinvent their organizations, employees and corporate strategy.   When you stop reinventing you become irresponsible to the people you serve as well as your own career growth.   Leaders who don’t consistently reinvent get stuck in ruts – or they find themselves changing their career path too many times without a specific destination in mind.    This makes it challenging to create and sustain momentum and they eventually become difficult to hire in any leadership capacity.

Now ask yourself again:  Has your leadership style become outdated?    If so, what will it take to change your leadership style and approach?  As leaders in the new marketplace and workplace, if we want to remain relevant we must stop focusing on ourselves and our own advancement, and become reacquainted with the ideas and ideals that first enabled our leadership to take root:  good decision making and fearless risk taking; a selfless approach-ability and likability; and the passionate pursuit of excellence and reinvention.

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