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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a leadership development expert and author of Contagious Leadership and newly released, Make Difficult People Disappear.

How big do the signs need to be for you to see your leadership isn’t working?

Houses need upgrades from time to time and whether you compare leadership of a team to the foundation, the roof, or the whole house, here are four clear indications that it’s time to call in a contractor for an upgrade. They are just as damaging as a roof leak or broken pipe and just as easy to see if you know what you’re looking for… and trust me, your employees are trying to tell you. Do you see the signs?

They Stop Talking to You

When casual friendly conversation ceases and hallway talk stops when you approach, it’s a clear indication of fear, apathy or anger toward you the leader. Communication is vital to leadership, so figure out what clammed them up and address it.

They Start Acting Needy

Focused, driven, and competitive leaders struggle with empathy. If your employees are whining, requesting your time more often, or waiting in your doorway for recognition, they’re subtly trying to tell you they need attention or maybe appreciation for their efforts. Appreciation is vital to leadership. Give it often and openly and they’ll be needy no more.

They Stop Following Through

You may always do what you say, but do they? What’s in it for them if they do and what happens if they don’t? That is the question. Rewards and consequences are vital to leadership and without them they’ll do whatever is easiest. Follow through on what they need and they’ll be more likely to follow through on what you want them to do.

They Create Drama

Drama is a demand for attention. Leaders who are persistently absent, unavailable, or unwilling to guide and develop employees will get to watch them cry out “look at me” repeatedly. If that doesn’t work, they’ll resort to actions forcing you to pay attention. Your presence, mentally or physically, is vital to leadership. Stay away or remain disengaged and they’ll put on a show to which you’ll have to go.

Communication, appreciation, rewards, consequences and some type of presence are all vital to the success and effectiveness of a leader. Ignore these signs and difficulty will arise, numbers will fall, and leaders will fail. If you’re starting to see some of these behaviors and want to recover fast, ask yourself: “How big do the signs need to be for you to see?”

Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!

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