The Cost of Poor Leadership

a man lost all state

Written Transcript/Summary – The Cost of Poor Leadership

AYL Podcast #1 Summary

The Cost of Poor Leadership

Introduction: Welcome to the Advance Your Leadership podcast with Leadership Coach Bev Benwick… A dialogue meant to enhance the leadership of our listeners….a contribution to greater business success …. All podcasts along with additional information are available on Bev’s website at

Hello – I am Bev Benwick with Advance Your Leadership. I am an Executive Coach who works with Business Leaders. What do I do….I help my clients to enhance their leadership of others through their effectiveness of leading those that work for them….and for leaders that starts with greater self – awareness.

What is leadership – Leadership is about supporting those you lead as your subordinates, those you are team members with, and those who are your peers. It is about creating a positive and motivating environment for growth, both of people and for the business. As long as we get the work done through people they need to be #1 on your list. And it is only under such that you will benefit as a business leader in getting greater productivity and effectiveness, contributing to a successful bottom line. While taking the time to develop and support people can be daunting to the hands on results oriented leader…..the cost of not doing so can be an extraordinary loss…one that most small business and many medium size business leaders do not bother to measure…or perhaps just don’t know how.

Why do I do what I do? Leaders want to bring about obvious results that are profitable and easily measurable. They need to focus intently on this…..but we need to get the work done through people to bring about those results. Not all leaders are masters of getting the best contribution and effectiveness through their people. In fact, few are masterful of this.

Story – I must own up here…..I was one of these leaders…I am not proud of my leadership of others from decades ago. I gunned for results….all the time…some folks around me must have felt like I was steam rolling right over top of them. I was totally unaware of how I was showing up for the workforce….why, because I only let the revenues and bottom line results run my actions and get my attention. AND..then I grew up….someone in my life encouraged me to take a deep look at myself. I have done a tremendous amount of self- awareness work over the years. I have dramatically changed my leadership style…..all for the better. But, I sure do wish that I knew then what I know now. Gosh, when I think to employee turnover alone…and what that must have cost …..or the people that I actually demotivated because of my style, or my tendency to run meetings….and I do mean RUN meetings. But that was then, one can bring a difference to the future….you too can bring about change.

Most are not born as the natural leader….but we can learn to be much better at this.

What do we measure in orgs….P & L generally. Revenue in (gross and net) and Expenses out.

Why don’t we more often look to what the cost is of ineffective leadership of others? It seems to me by increasing the power of our leadership in this regard we would see very different bottom line results over a period of time. Sustainable results….growth results even. What would that do for your business?

This isn’t actually something elusive….it’s very attainable by either bringing in a professional to work with you the leader….or taking training in this regard. But it is work, it is mindfulness, it is about making changes!

Let me give you some idea of what the cost is to a company or organization for NOT taking the time to produce better and more effective leadership.

    • Loss of loyalty
    • greater churn of the workforce
    • unnecessary and time consuming conflict
    • obstacles to the decision making process
    • perhaps a blaming culture
    • employee resentment that causes work to rule attitude
    • internal departments that compete instead of being supportive of one another
    • Leadership that is disconnected from the workforce ( I am aware of companies where it can take weeks for an employee to get an appointment to talk to their boss – really?)
    • an uncaring workforce that forces late deliverables to clients
    • loss of clientele from badly handled customer service

On that point alone I would like to share a story with you. A friend of mine, a VP in private sector company shared with me something that she uncovered while visiting with a client. BD (business development) people were actually telling customers what a terrible place the company was to work….now really….would you expect your customer to want to keep doing business with you? While the employee was out of line to do so….what was actually behind the motivation for someone to so liberally speak like that to a client? Her feelings were that it was a result of the disconnectedness between leadership and those doing the work…it was an ongoing tense and disconnected culture. So…who owns that? Well…..I would have to say leadership does….this is what poor leadership can produce. Terribly costly, should you lose a client to an event like this.

Truthfully, I could go on and on with the activities we see arise out of poor leadership in an organization. I invite you to think about……What goes on in your business?

Here are some actually figures on the cost of poor leadership –

Poor leadership practices cost the organization and estimated 7% of their total annual sales

Did you know…..A minimum of 9% and as much as 32 % of voluntary turnover in a company can be avoided with improved leadership skills

Companies are functioning with a 5% to 10% drag on their productivity that would be eliminated with better leadership practices. Some people I mention that to are surprised it is so low….however we will have some highly functioning teams that will contribute to minimizing the actually figures from a poor performing team.

IMPORTANT : Truly effective leaders….need to be the most self – aware people in the company! Self Awareness brings on Relationship Awareness. And relationship awareness and relationship management are an absolute must to fully engage your workforce. Yet…often the key leaders are the least self-aware.

I have to wonder….why is it that we hire or promote leaders….and simply hope for the best. Few companies actually arrange for the hired leader or promoted leader to be professionally supported to assure their success. Should that leader have the ability to positively impact those that report to them….do you realize that one employee’s productivity alone can increase by as much as 27%!! That is massive. How could key leadership ignore such a figure?

If I am describing you and your company in this podcast, what do you need to do to start turning around the leadership and develop a culture that readily enjoys more effectiveness and contribution from its workforce?

Take that first step and support yourself, and other leaders around you to increase self – awareness. Find a professional and or training to make this happen. Getting data or information is helpful….but like anything we must be committed to taking action for change and ultimately obtain results. Others often emulate the behaviour of senior leadership….Please give consideration to this question: What type of leadership do you want to model to others in your company or organization? And…a caution here…can you afford to misstep?

To better leadership…always!

Take care

The Cost of Poor Leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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