Having the right leaders on your team has a tremendous impact on the success of your manufacturing business. Unfortunately, we see many manufacturers promoting or hiring employees into leadership positions for the wrong reasons. These reasons range from strong technical capabilities to tenure within the company.

Having an inadequate group of leaders does have consequences: According to DDI, every poor leader costs a company more than $126,000 annually due to low productivity, turnover, and staff dissension.

That is just one of the many tangible and intangible effects of having the wrong leaders on your staff.

Regardless of the significance of the effects of having poor leaders, manufacturing companies continue to tolerate it. For those of you wanting to make a change to prevent this from recurring, we offer some of the signs that can help you be proactive and address the situation before it gets out of hand:

1. Lack of alignment with the vision – Leaders have the duty to set the vision for the business. Part of this process includes engaging their leadership team in coming up with the elements of the vision. While collaborating there will inevitably be differences of opinion. However, the team must eventually put their differences aside and eventually come to a consensus through debate and compromise. When you see leaders continue to express dissent and failing to commit to the vision, through their words or actions, it is a red flag that must be addressed. If people notice their leaders strongly disagreeing with the vision that may cause significant harm within the business.

2. Culture fit – Sometimes leaders are brought to the organization and it becomes very evident after a short period of time that the leader does not match the values, or identity of the organization. Other times, leaders are just allowed to linger when it just does not work. In either case, an unfitting leader will create conflict, politics, and a negative work environment. Furthermore, the leaders’ attitude will trickle down to their team and will be noticeable in their behavior and implementation of business practices introduced by the leader.

Please read our blog on the leadership principles leaders should display.

These first two signs are related to the philosophical and abstract aspect of the leader. Next week we will delve into more tangible and execution related signs.

If you have concerns about the leaders in your team and would like to discuss your situation, please schedule a call.

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