Ever have one of those conversations that left you shaking your head after you left the room? You were amazed regarding the inappropriate leadership behavior and lack of simple management skills of the leader conducting the meeting?
Yes, admit it. Those meetings are incredibly hard to take, especially when you know the person has been and will continue to be in a top leadership role. This topic was once again brought to my attention in a conversation about women in leadership roles that aren’t worth following.
Asked for my opinion and an explanation of my thoughts, I first asked for some examples of behavior and attitude that had been in place for at least two years. I was given the overview behavior within ‘group conversations’ that occurs every Monday afternoon and these examples of supervisor comments.
You don’t see that this could be wrong? What don’t you understand?
Why didn’t you? You should have had enough time.
We don’t ask for their opinions; we give ours. Their justification or results don’t matter.
I find it unacceptable. I don’t know why you can’t understand. Do you understand what I’m telling you?
Is this unacceptable to you? Why stay? These were my thoughts.
Look around within the organization you are working for and analyze the financial performance, employee retention, moral of employees, the change structure that have or are occurring, and the succession planning tools not being used. Examining just a few aspects of your organization will enlighten you on the leadership conditions and if the conditions will soon change.
Dysfunctional organizations don’t replace poor leadership, have no functional succession planning, and limited applicants for any position based on reputation of being an incompetent business.
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked all over the country in a variety of leadership roles that were created for me by some amazing male mentors who gave me the ability to guide other team members. From those adventures, personal relationships have been created as well as professional success for all involved.
One of the reasons my leadership developed creating happiness and success for myself was the mentoring, guidance, proper succession planning tools, and tough loved I received from the leadership above me.
Those functions were passed on to my team members, so they could also enjoy a career in a positive, healthy work environment and create a dynamic work environment for others. I’ve also learned the hard way through personal experiences about poor leadership and what it can do to a career.
Experiencing both good and unstable women leaders, my preference is now to work for male leadership as much as possible. My decision is not based on women’s personal behaviors or attitudes but on their lack of leadership skills.
Unfortunately, I’m not alone in my analysis. According to a Gallup poll (2014), women overall prefer male leadership, and other data collected by Pew Research indicates younger women prefer men even more.
It’s not that my past and some of my current women leaders are not or were not caring, ethical, or don’t have the ability to be leaders. A lot of women in leadership positions have not been properly mentored, trained, or given the opportunity to develop into leadership roles.
Research completed by Deloitte (2012) supports American organizations spend billions on leadership development yearly and fail at creating effective leaders. Women’s leadership skills are simply not being developed by the organizations, or their supervisors don’t take on the challenges of today’s work environment.
“Face reality as it is, not as it was, or as you wish it to be.” – Jack Welch
Remember, leadership development programs that are not properly evaluated, adjusted, and challenged by top leadership will create no difference. Therefore, men and women who are in failing leadership roles have a few allies, and everyone else just goes along to get along to prevent a job loss, additional work, or frustrations and arguments. This craziness of no transparency or trust prevents poor leadership from being replaced.
Tips for dealing with underdeveloped women (or men) leaders:
1 Look for a new job.
2 Continue to work effectively and productively with a smile.
3 Ignore their lack of leadership as much as possible to ensure sanity.
4 Do not have a conversation with them about your feelings and ideas about their leadership.
5 Do not try to change them or have an intelligent conversation with their supervisor (read dysfunctional organizations above).
6 Never hold a grudge about having a terrible boss.
7 After finding that new job, end the working relationship positively, even if it’s a ‘little white lie.’
8 Stay in touch with all former bosses. The best way is with your LinkedIn account.
Pick your career battles carefully and know when it’s time to change your ‘boss environment’. There are 1000’s of jobs with great leaders, both women and men, waiting for your skills and knowledge. Do not waste your time on an organization that allows poor leadership to exist.
“The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” – Barbara Corcoran
Video: International Women’s Day: Female leaders on the rise
Dr. Jacqueline Lang, PhD Business, MBA and BA in Communication, has worked for Fortune 50, Fortune 500, and private organizations throughout the U.S. in leadership roles in management in the manufacturing, and retail industries and as a U.S. Congressional Campaign Manager. She divides her time as a Business Faculty, Business Consultant, International Co-Author and Researcher. Contact – Website
Photo Credit – fshnextension