Recognising Poor Leadership behaviours

There has always been a vast amount of information available concerning how to become a great leader or what makes one. Perhaps it’s just important to recognize what constitutes a poor leader. These people are usually identified only after they’ve already done the damage. Just because a person has a leadership role in the company does not mean this person is good at leading people. Many companies can’t seem to see the difference between good leadership qualities and toxic leadership behaviours.

It’s time to understand the toxic leadership behaviours and the positive traits a company should look for, and what sets them apart. This distinction needs to be identified before elevating anyone to a role in leadership. A good way to begin is to introduce a trial period.  Have potential leaders assume a bit of responsibility and track how they deal with it. Leave them to it and see how they perform. A good leader works with his people to produce results, and it will be interesting to see how well the prospective leader performs in a trial situation.

Toxic leadership behaviours to avoid

Deciding on your leadership team takes time and thought.  You need to get it right.  Not doing so can be costly in terms of finances and team morale.  When considering a candidate for a leadership role, you need to be clear about the qualities and skills you are looking for. There are several traits to be taken into consideration before appointing someone into a leadership role. This is an important choice for the company, and these are some of the things to look for – before making that decision.

1. Using fear and threats

Ineffective leaders turn to use fear and threats to get his subordinates to keep them in line. These people 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 them as weak, and he/she loses control over them. All of these tactics are ineffective as the employee doesn’t receive any positive feedback and only builds resentment towards the leader.

2. Overusing power

Does power really corrupt a leader? The answer is yes,, when they are ineffective. 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.

3. Micro-managing

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. Over compromising

A gifted leader can usually find a way for the employees and the company to benefit in particular situations. However, an inept 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 behaviour from the employees which can affect the decision-making process. By rationalizing these actions, the leader will never succeed, and neither the company nor 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 leaders just don’t get it, it creates a problem in communication. An inept leader can’t communicate effectively with the employees or the bosses, and this can’t be tolerated by any company.

6. Inadequate people skills

Another thing to be aware of is a leader who lacks 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.

There are several things that should be considered before making the final decision about who the leader will be, the above traits should help in decision making.  It is important to look at the leadership skills and qualities which are lacking as those that are in evidence when considering candidates for leadership roles.  More difficult is setting the scene to test these in advance of an appointment.

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Norman Arvidsson is a passionate writer and entrepreneur from Sweden. He shares his experience with others through the blogging since 2015. He is an expert in many areas like web design or marketing, but his real passion is writing. Now he works as educator and writer for and several dissertation services for college students.