What characterises a bad leader?

The fact is that not very leader in the world of business is a good one. The bad news is that many leaders display characteristics that make them less than stellar in their role. The good news is that the situation can be changed. There are many excellent leadership development programmes that can help leaders to change and grow. But what defines someone as being a bad leader in the first place?

We are going to take a look at some of the characteristics that may lead to someone being defined as a bad leader. We are also going to discuss why these characteristics may be bad for a business.

The use of aggression or variable temper

This may be difficult to believe, but there are still leaders around who believe that the best way to lead people is to scare them or keep them unsure. They do this by either adopting an aggressive attitude or by varying their temper so that people are never quite sure how to deal with them. This attitude is very definitely a characteristic of a bad leader.

It is far better for a leader to adopt a patient but firm attitude so that they are recognised as approachable and fair. Being aggressive does not achieve a good result; it just makes people less inclined to want to work hard for the business. This, in turn, is detrimental to the running of the business itself.

A tendency to blame

Many leaders pay lip service to what is commonly referred to as a ‘no blame culture’.  This means that when mistakes are made blame is not really an issue; it’s more about trying to learn from the mistake so that any issues can be avoided in future. This is a good attitude for a business to have as it means that its people are more likely to try new ways of working if they are only ever going to be encouraged and not blamed for any downside.

If the CEO of a business has a tendency to blame people for everything that happens within the company, this discourages people from being innovative. This, in turn is bad for the business which loses out on the additional revenue and customer satisfaction which can often be derived from employee’s innovation.

Lack of transparency

One thing that is often lacking in a bad leader is the ability to be transparent. It’s never a good idea to hide bad news, or issues with the company. If a CEO tries t to do this they will immediately lose the trust of others within the company when the news eventually gets out. Many leaders see bad news as potentially demotivating but it can have the opposite effect if the news is delivered in an honest and positive manner. People are far more likely to want to work together to resolve a problem if they can see that their leader is being honest with them.

All of the characteristics we have highlighted can make a bad leader, but it’s important to remember that things can be turned around and improved leadership skills can be developed.


Comments are closed.