So, what are 10 leadership traits to be aware of and not only avoid people with them but also ensure you do not develop these yourself!
I have seen it time and time again where the guy on the shop floor will help anyone who needs it, they complain about bad management practices and swears blind that if they get up the ladder, they will make changes.
The problem is, when they arrive in that office, all of a sudden, they develop instant memory loss and become an instant asshole.
10 Traits of a bad Leader
1. Conflict Avoidance.
Whether it’s between department heads or team members, dealing directly and decisively with conflict is essential. A bad leader is letting the situation fester by not dealing with it or just avoiding it and hoping it will disappear. They will still have to deal with it, but by the time they do, it will have escalated from a minor issue to a major one.
Good leaders understand that they can’t make everyone happy and that making these hard decisions is in their job description.
2. Lack of Flexibility.
Regardless of your thoughts, long gone are the days when you could adopt one management style for your whole career. Good leaders know when and how to adapt their management style. They also know their team members and understand how to motivate them individually. In today’s world, nothing says bad leadership more than an unwavering authoritarian boss. There is, however, a fine line between being a leader and being a pushover.
3. My way or the Door Mindset.
People sometimes think they came into their leadership position due to their knowledge and expertise. While that may be true, it can lead to arrogance and inflexibility. A person’s knowledge and expertise are a small part of the equation. It is the soft skills that will make a leader stand out. Part of being a leader is inspiring the team to grow and become more significant than they are. Unless they have the autonomy to work out problems independently and even make mistakes, they won’t stay motivated.
4. Cutting corners or Unethical Conduct.
It doesn’t matter how smart or talented a leader is; if they rationalise bad behaviour from themselves or others, they are doomed to failure. It’s a straightforward trap to fall into. Once in the trap, they begin explaining unethical business practices for operational reasons, but it always catches up with them. This is not only unethical but can also be extremely dangerous. Look at the number of Directors the UK HSE is prosecuting due to accidents from cutting corners.
5. Lack of a Track Record
Success breeds success. While past performance isn’t a guarantee of future success, the fact is that employing someone who has a proven track record of success is less risky than hiring someone who doesn’t. More recently, employers are using people who fit the government’s “diversity” requirements, which has now become the standard practice. So, meritocracy seems to be a thing of the past, and western society will suffer greatly for this.
6. Inability to Create or Conform to a Company Culture
Creating the right company culture serves to empower and uplift teams. It shows your team that you support and agree with the direction of the company. If your team watches you deliberately avoid putting into practice directives coming from the company directors, then they will become not only confused but worried as they are being asked to divide their loyalties.
7. Poor Communication Skills
Leaders need to be able to communicate effectively in a variety of ways and with a variety of people. A person with poor communication skills cannot effectively share the company’s goals, mission or strategy, let alone achieve any of them. Communicating effectively, both verbally and in writing, is a must for any leader.
Besides being miserable to be around, self-centred or selfish people make poor leaders. If a leader is self-centred or selfish, they will take credit for the successes and place blame for the failures. Eventually, this leads to staff becoming demoralised and the team failing. This is one of the biggest faults in modern-day leaders, and I see it every day.
This can take many forms. A team needs to be able to predict what the boss wants in order to have any kind of autonomy in doing their jobs. Without it, they will be forced into a system of micromanagement. Having to okay every decision for fear of reprisal is a failure of leadership. Additionally, employees need a sense of stability to feel secure. If employees know that the boss’s reaction to bad news is dependent on their mood that day, it can stop the flow of vital information. It also means they will constantly be walking on eggshells around that boss. Finally, people who act first and think later will always make inferior leaders. The bottom line is that sending mixed signals is one of the lousy leadership qualities that will doom a team to failure.
10. Not Forward-Thinking
“It will do” or “I know it is rubbish, but it is all we have right now” is never a good thing for a leader to think or say. It signifies that they are more concerned about firefighting than growing and excelling at their jobs. Good leaders are forward-thinking and keep their teams at the “leading edge” of change and innovation.
In an ideal world, we would all have good, competent leaders and managers, ones who uplifted us, helped us succeed, and made us feel valued. However, three in five workers in the UK are disengaged and costing the UK economy billions each year.
It’s obvious, then, that this is a very common phenomenon and one that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Your best bet is to learn how to deal effectively with bad leadership until either you or they leave. Regardless, always keep in mind that a job is never worth your health or family relationships.