Barriers are obstacles that prevent peak performance. How many are you unintentionally creating in your company? Leadership barriers start at the top and their impact affects your whole organization. The symptoms of these barriers take many forms and hide in many places including your culture, processes, and strategy. Worst of all is their negative affect on your employees. Barriers and their symptoms may not be obvious to you, so you must purposely and passionately hunt for them. This is a never-ending process, and how well you accomplish it will determine how well your company performs.
Leadership Barriers and Their Impact
Nearly 95% of executives in a recent study emphasized that an organization is only as good as its top people. From my experience working with CEOs and Senior Executives, unmanaged personalities and personal issues are the biggest cause of leadership barriers.
Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. Joe, the CEO of Alpha Company, is conflict adverse. He avoids counseling his Vice President, Fred, who is a controlling, quick-tempered, micromanager. Just like an illness presents symptoms like a fever, symptoms of Joe’s unmanaged leadership barrier (fear of conflict) inevitably present themselves in his company.
Because no news from Fred is good news to Joe, Fred continues his micromanaging and requires every decision to be approved by him. As the company has grown, Fred has become a bottleneck to making timely decisions. Even though Fred works over 60 hours per week, he is overwhelmed by his self-imposed workload. In addition, employees are afraid to voice their opinions because of Fred’s temper. High-performers are frustrated with their lack of empowerment and development. They quickly resign, leaving only the poor performers who tolerate, or just ignore, Fred.
There are endless combinations of leadership barriers and their symptoms. Here are a few examples that may be occurring in your company:
The symptoms of organizational barriers can be disastrous to your company. How many of these are in your organization? Once you start noticing the symptoms, you should be able to trace them back to your own leadership barriers.