Ever been at the mercy of bad leadership?
The problem with bad leaders stems from the fact that everyone hates them and drastically effects productivity. Forbes mentions that a full 50% of employees cite bad leadership as the reason they quit their jobs. Businesses need good leaders to retain employees and to be more functional. But how does a business pinpoint the bad leaders and separate them from the good leaders? Ten qualities stand out that make bad leadership obvious to spot. These are:
1. Poor Communication Ability
The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness (CMOE) mentions that poor communication is among the hallmarks of a bad leader. A leader that lacks communication skills can’t properly get their message across. The lack of communication between the leader and the employee can lead to employee frustration and misunderstandings with clientele, potentially ruining the company’s reputation.
2. Obsessed with Working
Being a workaholic is draining, both mentally and physically. A leader that is obsessed with working can drive his or her employees to the brink of madness. While production is an admirable trait for a leader when it comes at the expense of employee health, the business suffers. Employees that find themselves forced into working excessive amounts of hours either quit or are so exhausted that they require regular periods off. Having a taskmaster as a leader can lead to high employee turnover rates for the business as well.
3. Lack of Integrity
Leaders should be people that employees can trust and depend upon. A boss with integrity demonstrates a strong moral compass and strictly defined morals. The Center for Creative Leadership explains that integrity makes up one of the four character strengths that all leaders display. A leader without integrity usually has actions that are the complete opposite of what their words present. Employees that lose faith in their leader’s ability to be moral also lose their trust in management.
4. No Enthusiasm
Inc. mentions that leaders ought to lead by example. The most effective way to do so is to be enthusiastic about the business. When a leader loses his or her enthusiasm, it brings down the entire team. Employees fail to see the difference their work makes, and it can drive even the most inspired employees to rethink how they view the company. No one wants to work in a place that lacks that spark of positivity in it.
5. Doesn’t Listen
Listening to employees and empathizing with them is the other side of the coin to communication. Leaders that don’t listen can never expect their employees to take them seriously. In all human interaction, listening shows a sense of wanting to connect. A leader that connects with his or her employees is much more likely to inspire them. However, if a leader doesn’t connect with the employee, it could leave them feeling unwanted and underappreciated by the leader and the company as a whole.
6. Too Conservative
Lifehack mentions that risk-takers are more likely to be successful in life. The same principle applies in business. Being too conservative in what the company does won’t inspire confidence to employees. Workers that thrive on ambition and the thrill of new prospects will quickly sour on the business if the company intends on taking the safest route forward. Being too conservative leads to regrets for the leader regarding missed opportunities.
7. Promotes Gossip
The US Navy coined the phrase, “Loose lips sink ships,” referencing the spread of intelligence across enemy lines. The same could be said of a business environment, where gossip is likely to erode trust between coworkers. True leaders try to promote positive feedback, whereas weak leaders encourage gossip in an attempt to play one group of workers off of another group in a bid to consolidate their power. These leaders undermine the very fabric of the business, and it usually results in those workers leaving for places where leaders offer constructive criticism instead of encouraging vicious gossip.
Authentic leaders, as Harvard Business School defines them, are leaders whose character was the most significant ingredient to their leadership style. Inauthentic leaders can create chaos in an organization by misrepresenting themselves. They offer a persona that they create instead of who they are, and because of this, the leader can rarely follow through on what they propose. The result is that workers lose faith in the leader as well as the organization.
9. No leadership
What is a leader without leadership? Someone that wields a position in name only can be disastrous for a company. Leadership isn’t about controlling employees and bending them to the leader’s will. It’s about empowering employees and helping them to reach their potential. A leader without leadership spends their time nitpicking about their employees and condemning them for their errors while failing to praise them for their contributions. Employees quickly tire of a power dynamic like this, and it eventually leads to a mass exodus of workers.
10. No Appreciation
Emergenetics notes that employee appreciation creates a better company culture and builds employee relationships. These factors allow a team to work better and more dynamically to solve problems. Leaders that don’t appreciate their workers lead to them hating their job. Those employees usually spend time worrying about the quality of their work, and this, in turn, leads to less productivity and more compounded workplace stress.
Terrible Leaders can Decimate a Workplace
Promotion in a business should be done on both skill and leadership ability. While a gifted employee might be a good fit for a management position, he or she may lack the traits of a good leader. A company that spends time finding good leaders is more likely to see long-term success than those that promote solely based on contributions.
In a thriving workplace, good leaders tend to develop strong teams through their leadership and can mentor others to be good leaders. Businesses shouldn’t underestimate the power of a good mentorship program. It might even teach skilled employees that lack leadership skills on how to guide their teams moving forward.