The Poor Communicator
"This is a recipe for high turnover," says Reed. This type of boss isn't great at articulating what his expectations are. He or she sends emails that are confusing and require back and forth or makes requests without setting necessary parameters. Often times they aren't responsive unless cornered. "When you don't communicate with people they just make it up in their head," says Reed.
He offers an example from a different perspective, perhaps there is a rumor that the company is downsizing. If the boss doesn't come out and talk about it, most employees will assume that it's going to happen and will start making preparations.
This leader typically likes to demonstrate that he is the smartest person in the room and in doing so often can overlook critical items. "Newer leaders often times feel like they have to appear to their team as if they always have the answer. A really effective leader knows that the best answers often come from the people you work with," says Reed.
"People that are managers in a technical environment are involved in managing technology projects, technology initiatives and making sure that the strategy is in place. Where they aren't typically focused is blocking time off to talk to people on their team to talk to them about their job satisfaction, how they feel about their job and their future," says Reed. He goes on to note that a leader that doesn't always have the perfect answer but knows where to get that answer is what can define an elite manager.
The Foul-Mouthed Boss
Some managers don't realize how demoralizing this type of behavior can be. If foul language comes out of your mouth in an angry tone you can very easily create a situation where no one wants to function. Whether it's anger, disgust or this is how you talk to your friends, you can't bring it to the office.
"Leaders have to earn the right to retain the services of the best and brightest, every day, by the way they conduct themselves," says Roy West, CEO of the Roy West Companies and senior scientist at the Gallup Organization.
Finding success at work and in life
In his recent book, Special Forces operator and Army Officer Peter Blaber recalls the moment that someone shared with him a secret to leadership. There are three M's to being a successful leader and to life in general, he writes:
This advice is what separates the leaders from the wannabes. Being a leader is about doing the right thing and leading by example. You simply cannot have one standard for yourself and one for everyone else.
"The Golden Rule, as Dr. Don Clifton, the former Chairman of the Gallup Organization would refer to it, is we shouldn't treat people the way we want to be treated, we should treat people the way THEY want to be treated. And, to know how they want to be treated, you have to ask," says West.
If you've seen some of yourself in these profiles, then it's time to step up and do something about it. Take some leadership seminars, communication courses or do whatever it takes to help you better connect to the people who depend on you daily.
Read more about careers in CIO's Careers Drilldown.