Your Career Retainer is a career column written for Drexel alumni by Chris Bilotta '77, '84. Chris is co-owner of the Resource Development Company, Inc., is a Certified Public Accountant, and is recognized as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer.
Alumni are encouraged to send comments, questions or suggestions for future column topics to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leaders can easily get mired in the demands of their job and lose sight of what matters most to their employees. Consequently, employees begin to lose trust in leaders that they perceive as self-absorbed, complacent and only concerned about their own interests.
A leader's responsibility is to continuously provide their employees with the tools and resources to be successful. When employees experience inconsistency from their leaders, they grow frustrated.
Glenn Llopis, a former C-suite executive and entrepreneur, and now an author, speaker and management consultant focused on leadership and change management, offers several ways leaders can tell if they are undervaluing their employees.
Failing to Embrace Differences
When leaders seem uninterested in what matters most to their employees, they minimize their value and disregard the unique perspectives that they bring to the table. Diversity of thought is the new normal and when employees feel that their leaders aren't creating a safe environment for them to speak up, they often feel compelled to withdraw. When leaders see differences as opposition instead of opportunity, it's time for them to refocus their perspective.
Being Unaware of Their Strengths
The most valuable skills employees possess oftentimes remain dormant because they have a leader that doesn't take the time to discover and/or enable their strengths. Recognizing and rewarding the unique skills and capabilities of an employee is one of a leader's primary responsibilities.
Refusing to Seek Their Counsel
Leaders are most vulnerable when they are resistant to change - and to the perspectives, know-how and insights of their employees. When leaders get insecure, they can feel their command slipping away and so they tend to hide behind their title. They may develop negative attitudes and seldom appear to be listening because they are only concerned with one thing: regaining control. But the wise leader will take this moment of vulnerability to earn the respect of their employees by seeking and valuing their counsel.
Making No Effort to Invest in the Relationship
Leadership success comes most to those who are surrounded by people who want their success to continue. This is only possible when leaders invest in their employees. Failing to make that investment is a sign that their leader does not value them enough. Leaders must always show a genuine intent and interest to build upon their employee relationships for the betterment of a healthier organization.
Providing Little if Any Feedback
Leaders that don't hold themselves accountable for providing employees with constructive feedback are leaders that don't value or trust their employees enough. Employees want feedback from their leaders and see it as a requirement for their own growth and development. When leaders are not accessible, their employees begin to feel slighted and underappreciated. By withholding constructive feedback, leaders miss an opportunity to build trust and show that relationships are important.
Micromanaging to Distraction
When leaders constantly micromanage, it sends a message of uncertainty about their confidence in employees' ability to perform. Leaders that fail to give their employees space to grow through both success and failure, limit their ability to stretch their employees' capabilities. Micromanagement can lead to self-doubt and to employees that become overly concerned about satisfying their leader instead of doing their job. Rather than being a micromanager, be an investor in employee relationships and build trust.
Christopher Bilotta '77, '84, has extensive experience in talent acquisition and management, recruiting, human resources, finance, accounting and systems. His specific expertise lies in providing customized retained search services to corporate clients and career management, coaching and job search assistance to individuals. Chris is a sought after advisor and mentor dedicated to building high performance organizations and helping people realize their professional goals.
He joined Resource Development Company, Inc. (RDC), a privately held Human Resource consulting firm in 1994 and became a co-owner in 2001. He directed and managed the firm’s retained search practice and helped establish the company as one of the top 20 recruiting firms in the Philadelphia area as ranked by the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists.
Chris’ educational background includes a BS in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and MBA from Drexel University. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant and recognized as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer.
He has also been a member of Drexel’s LeBow College of Business MBA Career Services Advisory Council since its inception in 2004 and was named the Chair in 2006. In addition, Chris serves on the Board of Trustees for Saint Basil Academy, a Philadelphia area private high school and is a member on the Board of Advisors for two early-stage companies involved in college athletic recruiting and Web site development.
For more of Chris' columns on leadership and management, visit www.rdcinc.com/RDCRetainer.asp. For his columns on job searching, online branding and other topics, visit www.jobmetrx.com/blog/blog.asp.
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