When coworkers gather for an adult beverage after work, the topic of conversation often centers around their dislike of their horrible boss. Whether the boss doesn’t care, acts inhumanely or just doesn’t act, there seems to be no lack of bad bosses in the work place.
Why are there so many bad bosses? We believe we have the answer.
Most bad bosses don’t know they are bad bosses! They were promoted because they did their previous job well enough to get promoted. Without effective leadership skills or training, they lack awareness and develop bad habits they don’t even know they have! Sadly, those bad habits are passed on to their team and the cycle repeats itself.
This has to stop.
Physics professor emeritus Menno Fast once said “Experiential trumps theoretical every time.”
Developing self-awareness does not happen in virtual skill-based programs. Reading a book on leadership might help for a bit, but it won’t have the lasting impact of experiential training.
When we learned we were going to have our first child, I read every book about parenting I could get my hands on. In the end, no amount of reading prepared me for the first 24 hours after we brought our son home from the hospital. The care and feeding of our son was experiential learning at its finest! We quickly learned that he had a unique cry based on his current circumstances. His unique cries are his way of communicating. There was no other way of learning that until it happens.
Leadership development is the same thing.
While executives get personal coaches and week-long retreats to help them become more self-aware, most of the time, it’s too late. The damage has been done.
While the debate rages on whether great leaders are born or made, we know that great leaders are developed through experience. Learning what works and what does not work, gives early leaders the same dose of experience and self-awareness as more experienced leaders. Just like the pilot who has flown 10,000 hours versus the pilot on his first flight…which one do you want to trust your future with? The same way pilots gain experience through simulations, we can do that for new leaders too.
Our experiential learning programs develop a young leader’s self-awareness through simulation-based development.
We create safe environments for new leaders to test their assumptions and knowledge, so they hit the ground running with self-awareness and a good dose of humility.
Middle managers, the ones who the new leaders report to, need the skills to prepare new leaders for success. Mid-year and end-of-year performance reviews are not going to stop more new leaders from sinking. Feedback and coaching will.
Middle managers are likely to have bad habits because they never got the development they needed. They lead as best they can. Not knowing what we know and what we don’t know. we believe arming middle managers with the ability to give and receive feedback is non-negotiable. We’ve found that having a coaching mindset makes a profound difference in outcomes. New leaders need feedback and coaching, otherwise they are unaware of what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.
I have done the research on giving and receiving feedback, and struggle with it myself. Our brain isn’t wired to embrace this skill set. And, we make life even more difficult by creating cultures that don’t embrace feedback.
Most leaders think they are great at giving feedback and coaching. In the ten thousand individuals I have trained, most are clueless about how to effectively offer feedback.
Experiential learning is the perfect way to help a leader realize that they have a bad habit in the first place, and give them the desire to change.
Then there is the old story of the CEO and the CFO discussing their management team at lunch one day.
CFO: “What happens if we train them and they leave?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t train them and they stay?”
Is your company suffering from a glut of bad bosses? Do you want to break the cycle of bad bosses creating more bad bosses? Would you like to create an engaged workforce where retention rates are in the top quartile?
Stop the steady drip of young leaders leaving your company. The scenario can’t change until your leadership development mentality changes. Bad habits must be stopped early or the vicious cycle of young, talented leaders walking out the door will continue. Bad bosses create more bad bosses and bad bosses are not good for business.
DX Learning Solutions offers customized experiential learning training programs that break bad habits. Visit our website to learn more about what we do and how we do it. Join our list of prestigious companies who have implemented our training solutions.
It’s time to end the era of bad bosses. Let us help you unleash the great leadership potential of your organization with customized learning solutions for your specific needs.