Everyone wants their leaders in business and in life to be good role models that take them, by example, to a better place. But the truth is good leaders are hard to find. What happens when you end up leading after a bad leader? How do you go about rebuilding the team and the disheartened department you are to help? Let the healing begin and the profits rise by examining first what makes a good leader and a bad leader.
Good leadership can propel a team to higher heights and better pay all while propagating their achievements to anyone who will listen. A good leader gets the best from his team and they willingly give it. Even if the department runs at a loss for a brief time, the team will feel confident about the future and understand their part in the plan if they are following a positive, reliable leader.
On the other side of the coin is the bad or even the mediocre leader. He maintains the status quo, bringing down the team with his bad attitude and lack of vision. Bad leaders never last long in a company at least not in one that cares about their bottom line. Inevitably, a new leader will rise to the top. Enter you.
Leading After a Bad Leader
Use these steps to guide you in your new leadership role. Be smart and do your homework before making any sweeping changes to your department or area.
The first thing you must do is ask for an accurate briefing on the state of the department from someone who is not actually in the department. Get details about any glaring mistakes made by the previous leader from other leaders in the company or a departmental manager. The HR department may give you some details too.
After a term under a bad leader, your newly acquired group will need a “healing meeting” or series of meetings. Frustrated employees will need the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts about the previous administration. This is a good time to listen to work-related problems and any concerns that employees have. After meeting with the employees individually, arrange for a meeting with everyone. At this meeting, address any pressing issues and assure the group that their voices have been heard.
Planning the Path
Afterwards, you collate the information; you will need to map out the necessary changes. Before you put your plan into action, you will need to share it with your employees. Working a plan together will help pull your department together again towards a common goal. A good starting goal should be challenging but not impossible. You have time after the team heals to reach for the stars.
Resist the temptation to heap all the departmental problems on the former leader. Take ownership of any issues your company is experiencing. Employees will know how they got where they are – they will be looking for a leader to guide them through.