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Two Warning Signs That Your Leadership Style Has Become Too Rigid And Inflexible

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There are four fundamental leadership styles: Diplomat, Pragmatist, Idealist and Steward.

Leaders can be effective or ineffective within each of these four styles, but one style in particular is at the greatest risk of being too rigid—the Steward. (There’s a leadership styles assessment to determine your own leadership style.)

Stewards are the rocks of organizations. They’re dependable, loyal and helpful, and they provide a stabilizing and calming force for their employees. Stewards value rules, process and cooperation. They believe that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and they move only as fast as the whole chain will allow, taking care and time to help those who struggle to keep up.

Working for Stewards offers the chance to be part of a well-oiled machine. Here, employees find security, consistency and cohesion. But sometimes the rules and processes can become too rigid and inflexible, and stifle innovation, creativity, engagement and inspiration.

Of course, some employees actually like highly directive and structured bosses; and I do hear occasional complaints about workplaces that have become too participative, democratic and warm-and-fuzzy.

In my recent study Autocratic Leadership: New Data Reveals Who Likes It, we discovered that around 21% of employees actually like autocratic leadership, where leaders are rigid, control decisions, and deliver hyper-specific instructions.

But the majority of employees like rules that prevent chaos while not feeling so stifled that creativity and inspiration are verboten.

So here are two big warning signs that your leadership style might have become a bit too rigid and inflexible.

Warning Sign #1: You’re doing too much managing and not enough coaching

We’ve all experienced the situation where an employee comes to us with one or more problems that they would like us to solve. Maybe an employee walks into our office and says, “Hey Boss, I need your help. The other division won’t respond to my emails about giving me the data I need to finish my report.” And then, that person just waits for us to solve the problem.

Why do employees bring us their problems instead of fixing problems themselves? Occasionally it’s because they’ve tried everything they can think of and they’re truly out of ideas. If that’s the case, then it’s completely legitimate to come to the boss for help. Sadly, much of the time, it’s because we’ve inadvertently trained our employees that we solve their problems for them, and it’s because we’ve solved their problems so many times before.

Many leaders choose the managing option, both because leaders often have a ready solution, and most leaders are type-A personalities that like to jump in and fix things. Choosing to manage is a big temptation for Stewards who have very clear expectations about how things should be done. If those expectations aren’t met, then it’s a major irritant for Stewards, so it’s understandable why they tend to jump right in and start problem solving, manager style.

But when leaders choose the managing approach, they deprive their employees of the opportunity to grow, ironically guaranteeing that employees will keep pestering them for solutions. In choosing to manage instead of coach, leaders also deprive themselves of the opportunity to see if their employees can actually generate a solution that’s even better than their solution.

So the next time and employee brings you their problems, don’t immediately solve it for them. Instead just ask them “what are you thinking about how you’re going to solve that issue?”

Warning Sign #2: You’re not hearing suggestions for improvement

Sometimes a leader can get so focused on giving directions, setting clear expectations about how they would like work performed, and on establishing effective rules and procedures, that they won’t listen when one of their employees comes to them with good ideas for improvement.

My study The Risks Of Ignoring Employee Feedback discovered that only 24% of people say that their leader “Always” encourages and recognizes suggestions for improvement, while 16% say their leader “Never” does so. Overall, more than half of employees (53%) feel that their leader is not doing a good job encouraging and recognizing suggestions for improvement.

This is problematic on several fronts. First, it’s entirely possible that the employees on the frontlines have ideas that are substantially better than what the leader is currently demanding. Perhaps the leader has set clear expectations that a project is to be completed within three days, but an employee offers a simple process tweak that would reduce time to completion to two days. Every leader would welcome a 33% reduction in the time required to complete the project, would they not? Well, the smart ones would, but some leaders become so entrenched in the idea that “my way is the best way,” that they don’t know how to loosen the reins and allow the employee to improve the process.

Failing to encourage suggestions for improvement also damages a leader’s ability to keep people engaged at work. If someone thinks that their leader “Always” encourages and recognizes suggestions for improvement, then they’re about twelve times more likely to recommend the company as a great employer. If you’ve ever wondered just how demoralizing it is to work for someone with an overly-controlling leadership style, that particular statistic indicates just how destructive it really is.

Employing a Steward leadership style can deliver great results, but there are times where a leader can venture too far into the Steward realm and come across as too stifling and controlling. But if you pay attention to these warning signs, you can stay in that sweet spot of having structure and discipline while still allowing for some creativity and autonomy.



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Slide IPL epilator laser 200000 flash professional permanent hair removal women painless hair remo

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The Queen was forced to pull out of a special event last minute

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  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

  • Her Majesty the Queen has been forced to pull out of a special annual event because of illness.


    Every year, the the Queen joins the Sandringham’s branch of the Women’s Institute for a meeting where she is said to enjoy a spot of cake washed down with Yorkshire tea, while listening to speeches from the all-female organisation.

    Sadly, the 93-year-old monarch was forced to break the traditional visit to West Newton village hall yesterday, which she has been continuing since 1943, after being struck down with a cold.

    The head of the royal family is said to have pulled out of the visit around half an hour before it started.

    Credit: Getty

    Her Royal Highness’ sniffles are no concern though. A Buckingham Palace representative confirmed that she is suffering from a “slight cold”, while royal insider reportedly told the Daily Mail that there is “no cause for alarm”.

    Having skipped the get together to recover from the illness, the Queen missed out on a speech from BBC newsreader, Huw Edwards.

    READ MORE:Duchess of Cambridge reveals the relatable reason she felt ‘isolated’

    The Queen Prince Andrew

    Credit: Getty

    The Queen made her last public appearance on Sunday, when she stepped out alongside her son, Prince Andrew.

    The royals grinned as they headed to a church service near the family’s Sandringham Estate, where the Queen is currently residing for her winter stay.

    Credit: Getty

    Her Majesty walked alongside Prince Andrew as they headed to the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Hillington for the Sunday morning service.

    At the end of last year, Prince Andrew, 59, announced he was “stepping back” from royal duties with permission from his head of state mother, following allegations of his involvement with sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.



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    SIM! Teremos SORTEIO de Carnaval Serão sorteados 2 ZERAS VERDES!! Marque um(a) …

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    SIM! Teremos SORTEIO de Carnaval 🤩🎉 Serão sorteados 2 ZERAS VERDES!! Marque um(a) amigo(a) que também quer um Zera nos comentários ❤ Importante que ambas(os) nos sigam aqui e curtam este post! 1, 2, 3… VALENDO! O resultado sai SEGUNDA (27/02)! *Não terá direito a troca, envio apenas para o Brasil. #helenabordon #byhelenabordon #carnavalHB #sorteio



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