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Thought Leadership

12.05.2022

Leader’s Performance is lower than expected? 12 Potential Reasons for Leaders Underperformance and their Solutions

Leader’s Performance is lower than expected? 12 Potential Reasons for Leaders Underperformance and their Solutions

In the early and mid-1900s, miners would carry caged canaries (small birds) down into the mine tunnels with themselves. Compared to humans, canaries react more quickly and most visibly to Carbon Monoxide and other poisonous gases. So, when miners see the canary keels over, they know it is the time to evacuate the tunnel before they become the next victim. Although canaries are now replaced with a new detection technology, they became a metaphor for “early warning signs”. Additionally, canaries in the coal mine emphasizes the difference between the “cause” and the “symptom” when we are looking at complicated phenomena. Within the work environment, underperformance among leaders, is a “symptom” that can be resulted from many different “causes”. In this blog article, we will go over 12 potential reasons that can cause underperformance in addition to their potential solutions.

By conducting a root cause analysis, we can categorize potential causes of underperformance into two different categories of individual and organizational factors. From an individual point of view, having adequate technical abilities, soft skills, confidence, motivation, and feeling well are the antecedent of high performance.

From the organizational perspective, not being provided with adequate tools and technology, unfair pay & benefits, lack of perceived job security, not feeling physically or psychologically safe, not feeling seen or supported by your supervisor, and not feeling included, welcomed, and respected within the work environment can significantly reduce one’s level of performance.

When it comes to addressing leaders’ underperformance, the best approach is to ask ourselves “How can we help our leaders become more effective?” To answer this question, we should start with a Culture Actualization Index that will identify an organization’s success in addressing its employees’ needs. After identifying the unmet needs at an individual and organizational level (causes of underperformance), your organization will be able to provide more targeted initiatives that have the potential to make a significant impact on your leaders’ performance. If you are dealing with underperformance issues in your organization, please don’t hesitate to email info@maslowleadership.com and ask for a free consulting session.