Five Tell-tale Signs of Ineffective Managers/Team Leaders

from the Turning Good People Into Top Talent blog series
By Bob Moore, CMC, Managing Principal, Talent Management Institute

ineffective mgr

There is a direct relationship between productivity, turnover, employee engagement and management effectiveness.  According to Jim Clifton, Chairman of the Gallup Organization, only one in ten managers has the natural skill and capability to lead a high performing team.

Here are five indicators of an ineffective manager or team leader that could be or soon will be causing a negative impact on team effectiveness:

  1. Ineffective team leaders appear to be overwhelmed with low-priority activities. Investigate how they are organizing their time. Until they can manage themselves, they will not be able to manage anything or anyone else.
  1. Ineffective managers tends not to delegate very well. Most ineffective managers want to maintain control and delegation means giving up control. This can contribute to #1 above.
  1. When an ineffective manager/team leader does delegate, you may observe one or both of the following: they rarely follow up to provide interim guidance, which may result in less than ideal results or they continuously over-control with an insistence on how to do the details of the task.
  1. Ineffective managers tend not to coach and mentor their team. They usually ignore them or dictate rather than ask questions and listen for clues about how to assist team members to achieve better results.
  1. The employees/team members tend to avoid ineffective managers and team leaders. Observe the body language or the degree of participation in team meetings. Is there any evidence of avoiding meetings or even chance encounters with the manager?

This is by no means an exhaustive list and they are merely symptoms. However, anytime you suspect ineffective team leadership/management, begin to notice how many of the five symptoms are present. Unless you have an ongoing development plan to improve the effectiveness of team leaders and managers, you will likely find there is ample evidence to suggest you need to implement or upgrade your learning program.

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Bob Moore, CMC
Managing Principal

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