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How poor workplace Leadership rips apart families and societies

Poor Leadership rips families and societies apart - Steve Barker - RAW Leadership
The Devastating Domino Effect of Poor Leadership in the Australian Workplace

The Devastating Domino Effect of Poor Leadership in the Australian Workplace: How it rips apart families, creates disruption in schools and kills the education standards of our future work force... let me explain:

Poor Leadership in Australian workplaces is at a pandemic level right now, but it goes much deeper than just people leaving their workplaces to find better workplaces... it erodes families, schools and communities and the impact on the future for our country is horrendous.

The evidence is there and it is staring us in the face, however, it is easier to bury our heads in the sand than to address the simple fix...

The AIM Leadership Survey highlights over 72% of Australian workers leaving their jobs due to poor leadership...

How is poor Leadership recognised and identified? It is through behaviours such as:

  • Passive aggressive communication

  • Lack of clear direction or purpose

  • Failure to deal with problems

  • Allowing gossip to run rife

  • Lack of accountability

  • Not taking responsibility

  • Not listening to team members problems

  • Lack of empathy

  • Poor integrity

  • Blaming others

  • Having an "open door" policy

Poor Leadership ripples much farther than most people imagine. I have seen it first hand in my previous employments as a Youth Worker caring for kids who have had to be removed from their homes for their own safety, from my time as a mentor in the Juvenile Justice system and as a volunteer running Youth Camps for 6 years... The common denominator is Poor Leadership in the workplace, because it all cascades down...

Poor Leadership in the workplace casts a dark shadow, sowing seeds of frustration deep into the team. Those seeds fester, grow and take root... and when not addressed this frustration becomes more than an annoying emotion; it seeps into the very fabric of home life, poisoning relationships and tearing families apart.

When workers endure continuous frustration due to inept leadership, they don't leave it behind at the office door. Instead, they carry it home, where it festers and grows, erupting into arguments, mood swings, and unrelenting tension. Simon Sinek, a renowned leadership expert, aptly stated in his book "Leaders Eat Last": "Leadership is not about being in charge. It's about taking care of those in your charge." However, when there is Poor Leadership, it is not about caring for those people in your charge, it is about the survival of that Leader, and they will put themselves first, the people in their charge become tools for them to achieve their outcomes and those peoples welfare is a very poor second on the list.

Indeed, the statistics paint a grim picture. In Australia, work-related stress is a leading cause of marital breakdowns, with a staggering 42% of divorces attributed to workplace issues, according to a recent study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

But the devastation doesn't end there. Children caught in the crossfire of parental strife suffer profound consequences. The toxic atmosphere at home leaves scars on their young minds, pushing them to seek validation and attention elsewhere. As Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a prominent paediatrician, emphasised in her TED Talk: "The single most important thing that we need today is the courage to look this problem in the face and say, 'This is real, and this is all of us.'" This is why I am writing this article, this is why I am leading the Leadership Revolution, because it is all our problem. We can fix it easily, Leadership is teachable, and the foundational skills can be learnt in just 6 months. With consistent training and guidance, great "people centric" Leaders emerge... and they will then influence and enhance the future Leaders behind them. But, we have to start somewhere... and that start is very very slow right now.

However, it doesn't just stop with the breakdown of family units, marriages and impacting the children's development. The repercussions go on to reverberate through the education system, with disruptive behaviour reaching alarming levels. In Australian schools, incidents of disruptive behaviour have skyrocketed by 35% in the past decade, as reported by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Teachers, once focused on nurturing young minds, now find themselves acting as mediators in a battlefield of emotional turmoil.

We are seeing the evidence in schools right now. Not only are we seeing more and more children presenting with behavioural diagnoses. Teachers are leaving the profession in their droves and no one is replacing them.

On 30th January 2024 - Education Minister Jason Clare said Australia's persistent teacher shortages in schools have reached “crisis” levels. Millions of students across the country are due to head back into classrooms over the next week, but schools are facing crippling staffing issues...

But the nightmare doesn't end with graduation. These troubled children, neglected and emotionally scarred, and deprived of a good education because the system cannot handle all the disruption now grow into adults ill-equipped to navigate the complexities of the workplace. With a lack of education, unresolved behavioural issues, and a deep-seated mistrust of authority, they become a ticking time bomb in future workplaces.

So let's fast forward to the future, let's do a bit of future pacing, what do we find?

We find we are facing a crisis of epic proportions.

Those seeds of frustration sown by the poor leadership that we are experience in the modern day workplace, which is happening right now... they will blossom into a harvest of dysfunction tomorrow.

To demonstrate how slow and ineffective we are at doing something about this Leadership problem we are experiencing and the ripple effects in his 2007 book "True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership" Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic and Harvard Business School professor states "Investing in leadership development is not just about creating better leaders; it's about building stronger communities and shaping a brighter future for generations to come."

The timeline from poor leadership to future workplace chaos is clear: a failure to address leadership deficiencies today will condemn us to a future fraught with turmoil and strife. It's not just about business; it's about the very fabric of society unravelling before our eyes.

The consequences of poor leadership extend far beyond the boardroom, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. From fractured families to a generation of troubled adults, the ripple effects are profound and far-reaching. It's time to wake up to the harsh reality: the cost of bad leadership is more than we can afford to bear.

The most frustrating thing of all though, is that this is totally preventable. As I have already mentioned, Leadership is teachable.

You don't have to go and get a degree or study it for years at TAFE, the foundational elements of Leadership can be taught in 6 months.

The foundational elements of Leadership are the soft skills, the emotional intelligence of Leadership. This is learnt through the understanding of Human Behaviour, which is a very complex subject. However, when it is shared in a relevant, easy to understand manner, with frameworks and real life examples, this complex world become easy to understand for everyone. I have shared these frameworks with everyone from 1st year apprentices, to labourers right up to Executives, Directors and Business owners, all with great effect.

I so often hear of excuses like, we don't have the time, we don't have the budget or I can't get to the TAFE courses, or the Uni courses are full or too expensive. Or I hear that they don't have the time to study for 2 years... These are just bullshit excuses...

There are alternatives being offered all over Australia... for example - I offer 2x 90 minute sessions per month for 6 months, with support, implementation strategies, follow up information and implementation support will have you well on your way, even more, you get to keep all the support videos, soft copies, implementation strategies and information... some businesses use all of this information to form their Leadership Library and future proof their emerging Leaders by having them go through it too... and the bonus is it works (see my testimonials) and it will not break the bank or impact on the working day too much.

And I am not here to sprook about what I do or suggest that you work with me. There are heaps of highly skilled Leadership trainers out there who can offer alternatives to the traditional Uni or TAFE route... and generally they are much more relevant, have the flexibility to meet your exact needs and are definitely more affordable. If they provide good support too, you are more likely to succeed....

What I am here to say is that there is no excuse these days for poor Leadership and when you see the ripple effects and the damage it is doing to our families, our communities, our children, our education system and then you future pace all of that... THERE SHOULDN'T BE ANY EXCUSES.

Everyone deserves to be Led well these days. The Industrial age is well and truly over, and so are the days of the Bosses, Managers and Supervisors who use the tools of "Command and Control" "Carrot and Stick".

I used to be one of those archaic Bosses, I cut my Leadership teeth in the British Military and those "old school" strategies were all we knew... However, I saw very quickly as I entered the civilian sector after 26 years of service to my country that I had to evolve and develop. I did, and I am walking, talking, living proof that we can change our Leadership approach, that we can become the "'people centric" Leaders that the modern day workplace and people are demanding... So if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Remember, everything and I mean everything "rises and falls on our Leadership or lack of it"


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