bad leadership

Let’s take a moment and think about some of the best and worst bosses we’ve had over the years.  Think about the difference in how you feel about one versus the other. Now that you’re the leader, what sort of feelings are you giving off to your team? It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but top tier companies have great leadership…not bad leadership. That being said, it takes confident leadership to attract and inspire top-notch talent, manage teams, and execute…all in the face of the difficulties that come with running a business. All in all, your success is based on your ability to lead effectively.

Thankfully, leadership skills can be developed over time. One of the quickest ways to do so is to identify and avoid the traits of bad leadership at all costs. The following is a list of bad leadership traits that you should avoid at all costs.

poor leadership

Adobe Stock

Bad leaders think they’re the best at everything

Bad leaders tend to exhibit an inflated sense of their personal abilities. This often leads them to think that they’re right or the best at everything. Naturally, they aren’t in most cases.

They shun the idea of self-growth

Good leaders know that life is a continual stretch of self-growth and development. Bad leaders, on the other hand, think that they’re already perfect. Furthermore, bad leaders also rest on their accolades and turn up their noses at opportunities for learning and self-growth.

Their actions rarely match their words

Good bosses practice what they preach. On the contrary, bad bosses say one thing and then do another thing altogether. This makes it very difficult for their team members to trust them, let alone follow them.

bad leadership

Adobe Stock

They surround themselves with “yes” people

Rather than surrounding themselves with colleagues who challenge their ideas in a positive way, bad leaders do the total opposite. They seek out “yes” peers who enable them to do as they please.

Bad leaders can’t deal with conflict

All leaders come face-to-face with the need to have a difficult conversation. Poor leaders typically shirk their responsibility to address the issue at hand. In these cases, poor leaders are unclear in their message, which leads to further miscommunication. They also often avoid the conflict altogether and hope that the issue will resolve itself.

They disregard your input

Seeing how bad leaders think they’re always right, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they rarely consider your thoughts or value your contributions.

poor leadership

Adobe Stock

Bad leaders are control freaks

Poor leadership utterly fail when it comes to delegating responsibilities. This is true even when they have talented employees and partners on their side. In most cases, they simply cannot trust someone else to do as good of a job as they can. This ultimately suffocates growth and utterly destroys morale.

They focus on features, not performance

Less than stellar leaders tend to focus on delivering new features instead of ensuring that the core elements of a product or service are next to bulletproof.

They don’t create a company culture

Bad leaders don’t bother to go through the process of developing and fostering a culture that empowers their team. They ultimately fail to grasp the value of the ROI associated with company culture or its value on a human level.

team divided leadership

Adobe Stock

Bad leaders fail to filter what they say

Bosses who speak through hyperbolic phrases – or simply fail to think before they speak – typically have a harder time finding top talent or raising money from investors than leaders who are more deliberate in how they express their ideas. In short, poor leaders lack the verbal skills of likable people.

They value money over customers

While profit is important, people are essential. Bad leaders focus on raking in the dough more than on providing real value or support to their customers.

They’re fueled by their ego

Leaders who lack positive self-esteem are often ruled by their ego. This can lead to decisions that place their needs ahead of the company’s.

leadership ego

Adobe Stock

Poor leaders are overly optimistic

Poor leaders believe that everything will turn out fine, even when the total opposite reality stares them in the face. They often get so caught up in their dreams that they typically fail to notice the risks that threaten said dreams.

They never ask for help

Bad bosses feel as if asking for help is a sign of weakness and thus fail to ask for it, even when they need it most.

Leadership Profit Over Culture

Adobe Stock

Bad leaders fail to learn from their mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. However, when bad leaders err, they fail to take the opportunity to alter their mindset and learn from said mistakes.

Closing Thoughts

By observing bad leaders in their element and identifying the traits that are indicative of poor leadership, you can avoid making said mistakes yourself. This pattern recognition technique will pay dividends and will help you stay focused on the positive habits that great leaders exhibit.

About Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is an underwriter at United Wholesale Mortgage by day and a digital marketer by night. In addition to his role as an underwriter and his digital marketing hustles, he is also in the process of completing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.