Published on October 9th, 2018 | by Jose Vasquez0
The 5 Toxic Leadership Styles That Ruin Startup Tech Companies
These leadership styles have the potential to compromise even a strong business idea.
As the founder and CEO of your budding startup, much of your success is going to depend on your ability to coach, direct, inspire, and motivate your team members. You’re a leader now, and it’s your leadership style that will dictate much of your future.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of different leadership styles to choose from, and chances are, your personality already lends itself to a unique combination. And while there’s no strictly “right” or “wrong” way to lead a group of people, these leadership styles can get toxic if left unchecked—resulting in low morale, low productivity, and sometimes, even bigger issues:
- The micromanager. Micromanagers have a controlling personality, and want to keep watch over everything their subordinates do. Close supervision and coaching aren’t necessarily problems, but when your employees aren’t allowed to develop their own working styles, or if they feel constantly harassed, it becomes a problem.
- The ever-optimist. Optimism is a good thing, and I admire leaders who stay focused on the positive even during times of crisis. But at the same time, you need to be realistic. If you delude yourself with ideas that the business is going well or that there’s no productivity problem within your team, you’ll blind yourself to real issues that need fixed.
- The reactor. There are times when all leaders need to react quickly to an emergency, but reactiveness shouldn’t be your main style of leadership. Favor proactive risk mitigation and control over reactive responses at all times.
- The narcissist. Narcissistic leadership styles usually manifest under other names, but they’re easy to spot—these leaders like to take credit for everything, and aren’t willing to listen to other ideas. These ego-centric leaders tend to witness their organizations collapse in short order.
- The absentee. I’m all for a hands-off management style that lets your employees show their independence and strength, but there’s a point where it goes too far. If you’re unavailable for feedback and collaboration, your hands-off style can quickly evolve into absenteeism.
Despite these leadership styles being toxic when allowed to progress, there’s something you can learn from all of them. The best leadership style isn’t one dictated by a single underlying philosophy, but rather one that takes many different philosophies into account, and one that’s dynamic enough to respond to different people and situations.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a more effective leader, contact me for a free consultation today!