There has always been a vast amount of information available concerning how to become a great leader or what makes a great leader. Perhaps it’s just important to recognize what constitutes a bad leader. Bad leaders are usually identified only after they’ve already done their damage. Just because a person has a leadership role in the company does not mean this person is a good leader. Many companies can’t seem to see the difference between a good leader and a bad leader.
It’s time to understand what sets them apart and the traits a company should look for – before elevating them to a role in leadership. A good way to begin is to have them assume a bit of responsibility and track how they deal with it. Leave them to it and see how they perform. A good leader’s role is to work with his people to produce results. So, after this trial period, the answer should be obvious.
There are also several other important traits that should be taken into consideration before appointing a leader. This is an important choice for the company, and these are some of the things to look for – before making that decision.
1. Bad Leader Uses Fear and Threats
Ineffective leaders turn to using fear and threats to get his subordinates to keep them in line. These leaders use fear of losing one’s job if they don’t produce more, and this will only suppress the ingenuity and originality of the employees. They may even use threats and afford punishment if the job isn’t done well. However, if the leader uses threats and doesn’t go through with any punishment, the employees see the leader as weak, and he loses control over them. All of these tactics are ineffective as the employee doesn’t receive and positive feedback and only build resentment towards the leader.
2. Bad Leader Over Uses Power
Does power really corrupt a leader? In the case of a bad leader, the answer is yes. The bad leader has an inflated ego and becomes “drunk” with the powers of being a leader. He becomes arrogant and thinking he knows it all; he can’t learn and grow within the company. As the power rushes to his head, he only does things for his own interests. And if a leader isn’t always learning, he is of no use to the company in this role. This leader will never develop the allegiance, trust, and support of the people he is supposed to be leading. If the employees don’t have confidence in the leader, it will never work out with this person being in this role.
This can be viewed in several different ways. Sometimes a leader feels that a good job cannot be done correctly by anyone but himself. So, he proceeds to do everyone’s’ job, and his performance will undoubtedly fail. Or, he sits back and oversees the employees by watching everything they do. It causes them to stress out, and they can’t do their jobs properly which results in the same thing – lack of performance. Remember, it can be a big risk choosing a leader that doesn’t already have a good performance record.
4. Bad Leaders Are Over Compromising
A gifted leader can usually find a way for the employees and the company to benefit in particular situations. However, a bad leader can’t seem to find the right way to either let go and give in or to stand his ground. They quickly make a compromise that benefits no one because they don’t have the rectitude or the character to make the correct decision. They also compromise by allowing inappropriate behavior from the employees which can affect the decision-making process. By rationalizing these actions, the leader will never succeed, and neither the company or the employees benefit.
5. They Just Don’t Get It
A leader that doesn’t have a vision will not be a leader for long. If he can’t motivate those under him, stimulate the employees’ performance, and establish values that will be sustained, his new role should be cut short. The leader fails because he either has no vision at all or it’s impaired, and he will fail. And, because these bad leaders just don’t get it, it creates a problem in communication. A bad leader can’t communicate effectively with the employees or the bosses, and this can’t be tolerated by any company.
There are several things that should be considered before making the final decision. Who the leader will be, the above traits should help in the decision making. There are other traits to consider, as shown in the next paragraph. The idea is to look at the person very carefully before making this critical choice.
Another thing to be aware of is a leader that’s lacking empathy as this person can’t identify with his subordinates. They also don’t know how to judge the character of an individual and won’t know how to hire the right people. Watch out for a potential leader that fears any changes or can’t make decisions. Both of these traits indicate a person who has no confidence in himself.
When looking for a leader, if someone on the list has only one of the above traits, they may be able to learn how correct this problem and continue to the role of leadership. However, if a potential leader has more bad qualities; they probably are not yet ready for this role. It’s up to the management to decide if this person is worth the time involved in molding them into a leader.