The dark side of work – crap leaders
Work is a massive part of our lives, of who we are, what we do, who we hang out with, and how we feel about ourselves.
On a great day the world of work can make us feel sky high, ten feet tall, at the top of the mountain looking out and lots of other punchy positive clichés.
Yet, on a bad day, it can cause us to feel despair, distrust, doubt, lead to depression and fall headlong into a downward spiral.
I have heard work described to me by my clients as “abusive”, “traumatic”, “damaging”, and “toxic”. These are big words with major impact. And the people sharing this with me are all senior “successful” leaders nicely fit in the box of “high-performer”. Yet they too have felt the sharp side of work and crap leaders.
Somehow though, we are accepting that work is a lottery in terms of whether it works for you or against you. Why do I say this? Because we are not equipping leaders of today to ensure the world of work is a force for good. And I can even throw a few statistics in about just how big this problem is:
- 78% of staff are likely to shut off
- 50% feel more exhausted
- 36% don’t love going to work
The first part of my career was working as an Executive Search and Recruitment Consultant. The amount of horror stories I used to hear was shocking. People, talented people, crying or carrying tonnes of baggage and stress, because their experience at work had had such a significant negative effect on their self-worth, happiness, identity and confidence.
And this needs to stop. But how?
It starts by investing in your leaders and, if you run a company, yourself. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we treated leadership like we do car maintenance, and had an MOT by a trained professional at least once a year? Yes, there is more discipline about car maintenance than leadership development as a norm. Go figure!
When a leader is truly thinking, feeling and acting in a healthy and effective way, imagine the difference in performance, output and impact across the whole business? And it doesn’t stop there.
Happy workers make happier people.
This positivity can feed into the world outside of work, relationships, families, communities etc. Positive energy breeds positive energy. Sadly, the same happens in reverse.
Here’s how you can play your part.
If you control the budget, invest in professional leadership development, coaching, mentoring, well-being or whatever label gets sign off!
If you work for an organisation, create the business case about how investing in leadership development leads to higher performance by creating happier and healthier people.
I’ll leave you with my saying:
“Change has to start with Change".
Let me know what you are planning!