Beauty Link - Volume 5, Issue 3 - (Page 18)
Is Your Leadership
Hurting the Bottom Line?
Four Behaviors that Affect Productivity and Profits
WHAT CAN BUSINESS leaders and managers learn from
“As a manager,
you wield a
can be an
power or a
up to by both
watching the earnings of publicly traded companies?
“Plenty,” says Kathleen Brush, a 25-year veteran of
international business and author of The Power of
One: You’re the Boss, a guide to developing the skills
necessary to become an effective, respected leader.
When looking at corporations reporting lower-thanexpected earnings, you need to read between the lines.
They are not going to admit that the reason is a failure
of leadership, but 99 times out of 100 that’s what it is.
She cites Oracle, the business hardware and software giant, which recently reported a quarterly revenue shortfall based on a decline in new software
licenses and cloud subscriptions.
The company is “not at all pleased with our revenue growth this quarter,” Oracle co-president Safra
Catz told analysts. “What we really saw was a lack of
urgency that we sometimes see in the sales force...”
They are pointing the finger at the employees,
but they are really admitting a failure of leadership,
“Do you know how simple it is for managers to motivate sales people? If indeed the lack of sales urgency is
the problem, there are dozens of bad leader behaviors
that can cause sales to decline,” she explains.
“When I point them out, most leaders downplay
or refuse to acknowledge the impact their behaviors
are having on their bottom line. But, in companies
where leaders change these behaviors, employees
become engaged and motivated. It is really that simple
to increase productivity, innovation and the bottom
line,” she says.
If you’re a boss examining your own lower-thanexpected performance, instead of wasting time
searching for scapegoats, look in the mirror. Most
bosses unwittingly exhibit bad leader behaviors daily
that cause their businesses to suffer.
Here are four increasingly prevalent and damaging
The unethical boss: This is a category that
doesn’t just annoy employees, it appalls them.
As such, it’s a powerful demotivater. When a boss
breaks or fudges the rules, cheats, lies or indulges
in behaviors that reveal a lack of moral principles,
he or she loses employees’ respect. Without their
respect, a boss cannot lead. In addition, when a leader
indulges in unethical practices, he gives his employees
permission to do the same. Padding mileage reports,
splurging on business travel expenses, failing to take
responsibility for mistakes—they all become endorsed
activities by the boss, the role model.
The unfair boss: Our current societal efforts
to treat people equally—think gay marriage,
health care reform, the children of undocumented
immigrants —have led to confusion among some
leaders about “equality” versus “fairness” in the
workplace. I talked to a manager who gave all his
employees the same pay raise because ‘he wanted to
be fair,’ Brush recalls. He then seemed mystified that
the productivity of his best employees declined to
that of an average worker. Rewards can be powerful
tools of motivation, but they must be administered
The buddy boss: Bosses can never be buddies
with their employees. Ever. Friendships neutralize the boss’s authority and power. They can also
cloud a leader’s objectivity and hinder his/her ability to
correct behaviors, to delegate and to hold employees
accountable. When friendships compromise output,
it’s the boss who will be accountable. “Be friendly to
employees, but do not cross the line that muddies the
relationship between boss and friend. It could cost
you your job.” Brush says.
The disorganized boss: Workplaces are filled
with employees who lack direction because disorganized leaders don’t deliver and manage plans and
strategies to guide their teams. What’s the chance of
an unguided team maximizing its productivity to create competitively superior innovative widgets? “What’s
the chance of employees being inspired by a leader
who leads like a doormat or by random thoughts?”
“As a manager, you wield a tremendous amount of
power,” she says. “You can be an incredibly negative
power or a positive one who’s looked up to by both
peers and employees.”
Kathleen Brush has more than two decades of experience
as a senior executive with global business responsibilities.
She has a Ph.D. in management and international studies.
Brush has been teaching, writing and
consulting on international business
and leadership for companies of all
sizes, public and private, foreign
and domestic. To learn more, visit
The course ML112 - Team Leadership is available on the AACS Online Training Center at www.
aacstraining.org. Members call AACS at 800-831-1086 for your VIP Discount Code. Visit the
following URL to learn more about this course: http://bit.ly/BeautyLinkML112.
| B E AU TYLINK | T A K ING C ARE OF BUSINESS | 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Beauty Link - Volume 5, Issue 3
Message from the AACS President and CEA CO-Chairs
The Workings of Washington
Celebrate the Power of Educators
The Legacy of Madam Walker
Outside the Beauty Box
Part Art, Part Science
Beauty School Malpractice Liability Insurance
Leverage what Makes Your School Diff erent
Help Your Students Shine
Small Business Impacts
Voices from the Classroom
The Best in Business
Step by Step
How to Improve the Process
A Student’s Perspective
With a Little Help from Her Friends
Motivating Your Students
Beauty Changes Lives
2013 Spring Operations Conference
People & Places
New Products & Services
Associate Member Profiles
New School Members
Upcoming 2013-14 Events
Index to Advertisers
Beauty Link - Volume 5, Issue 3
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.