In the 25+ years that I’ve been teaching leaders how to be better leaders, I’ve heard a lot of colorful words used to describe bad bosses. Here is an interesting list of them with definitions from various dictionaries–

Dictator – uses authority in an unjust way

Unsupportive – does not care enough to help

Micromanager – has their hands in all of the details

Narcissistic – overly concerned with own needs, desires, and interests

Autocratic – orders people around

Bossy – orders people around

Domineering – orders people around

Overbearing – orders people around

Tyrannical – orders people around

Do you see a pattern?

The one thing ALL of these types of leaders have in common is that none of them inspire their employees to do their best work AND exactly zero of them have Guide G Factor.

I worked for someone like this. She wanted to be my puppeteer. She had me report my every move. When I needed help she didn’t have time for me. My annual review came and went a couple times with a good report and a middle-of-the-road raise. This was confusing to me because I had always been a high performer. When I asked what I could do to be better, she told me just keep doing what I was doing (completely unhelpful feedback). I wanted to grow, but she wasn’t supporting my growth. So, I left.

I know I’m not alone.

When employees aren’t coached, they rarely do their best work. Some self-motivated employees will try their darndest to a good job, but they will begin to languish if they don’t get the support and guidance they crave. Other employees will stall at the starting gate because they are lost and afraid. And then there are those who just won’t put up with the lack of opportunity to grow and make a difference … those people will seek better opportunities.

To develop an excellent team, leaders must use their Guide G Factor–coach instead of direct. Start asking more questions. Help employees think critically. Stand back, let them take their own path, and be there when they need direction.