In the organizational hierarchy, it is easy to differentiate between a boss and a leader. A weak boss is someone quick to discredit somebody else due to deep-seated insecurity, while in the same vein, fast to claim credit for a finished task.
While leadership is a combination of factors, including behavior, experience, and ability to evolve following countless mistakes, it is wrong to assume that it is an innate talent. Sure, some people possess strong charisma that other people could not help but be drawn to–for better or worse.
However, like any soft skills, being an effective leader can be learned. With the right guidance, you can tap the leader within you that is raring to get out. The more receptive you are to this change, the quicker you are going to step up to the plate.
Nevertheless, you need to be on the lookout for the following qualities that are common among bad leaders.
1. Mr. Know-it-all – They believe that their position gives them a license to make all the decisions. They do not accept any inputs from different teams, even if the suggestion seems good.
2. They are quick to deflect blame – Bad leaders think that they know all the answers. And assume that it is always the other guy’s fault. When they do ask for your input and assign you a task with a very short turnaround, be wary. It may be a set up to throw the blame on you.
3. Analysis paralysis – They rely too much on data and analytics in making all decisions. What happens next is analysis paralysis, especially when some elements of the data contradict each other. They hesitate a second late before making a crucial decision.
4. They cannot make the hard decisions – Sometimes, leadership requires you to make hard decisions. Even if people in the office would not like you for your decision, as long as it is suitable for the company, you have to do it. However, some supervisors are people-pleasers. They cannot stand if somebody does not like them.
5. They do not delegate – A good leader knows when to stop micromanaging all tasks in the organization. Understandably, entrepreneurs who built a successful business find it hard to delegate responsibilities because they view the company as their “baby.” Nevertheless, the only way is to find potential leaders in your team.
6. They are easily manipulated – In every office, there is always a sycophant. They know what to say to appeal to the ego of the boss. It is a wonder how intelligent people can be easily manipulated if you stroke their ego. Sycophants are masters in the art as mentioned above.
7. They avoid conflict at all costs — An organization is composed of several individuals with their respective personalities. Tension is going to be natural. A weak leader fails to recognize this tension and take advantage of it to push employees to be the best versions of themselves.
Do not equate leadership with perfection. Best leaders do not become good at what they do overnight. It is a lifetime of mistakes and pitfalls. The only difference is that they always try to learn from their mistakes.
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