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The Fish Rots From The Head Down. 5 Signs You Are a Bad Leader

8 min read
Vlad Kovalskiy
March 28, 2019
Last updated: November 12, 2019
The Fish Rots From The Head Down. 5 Signs You Are a Bad Leader
It is an undeniable truth that there are many bad leaders out there. Whether they are executives, managers or HR representatives, bad leaders are among us and it is of the utmost importance that they are recognized before a vicious cycle within a particular company is created, since they usually leave a trail of bad employees behind them.

Bad leadership can not only negatively impact employees, but also damage an entire business organization and its bottom line. This is why it is crucial to know what the tell-tale signs of a bad leader are, so that they could easily be discerned in order to avoid the pitfalls of bad leadership.

Which category do you fall into? Are you a leader your subordinates look up to with respect? Do you inspire them and make them feel humbled to be working for you? Do you make them feel valuable to the company you own or work for? Are you a leader who helps employees improve and thrive?

If the answer to at least one of these questions is negative, you really need to stop for a moment and think about your own contribution to the company. If you have poor leadership skills, you cannot expect them to yield to any positive results, let alone help the company climb up the corporate ladder. The worst part of being a bad leader is that, more often than not, you don’t even realize it until the damage has already been done.

Therefore, take a look at the following signs of a bad leader and, if you find that you actually do have some, if not all of those traits, make sure you stop making mistakes and start working on becoming not a good, but rather a great leader that people will be profoundly proud to be working for.

Highlighting Employees’ Weaknesses to Feel Superior

Some of your employees may have poor people skills, while they absolutely shine when it comes to the business operations they are responsible for. Others may find it a bit difficult to quickly adjust to certain innovations and additions to the company, such as new technological advancements that do require a certain adjustment period.

The point is that everyone has weaknesses – even you. Your job as a leader is to help your employees turn weaknesses into strengths by helping them improve and become better at what they do. If you only highlight their weaknesses without offering to help them out, you will literally kill their motivation, which will consequently decrease their levels of productivity and efficiency. As a result, that will have a negative impact not only on them, but also on the entire company.

If you have an inexplicable need to feel superior among your subordinates, which is the only reasonable explanation for emphasizing their weaknesses, you really need to rethink your role as a leader.

Fear of Smart People

There are always some employees who truly stand out from all the others in the way they approach certain business operations. Your company is certainly not an exception. You should accept the fact that some of them may even be smarter than you.

How do you manage smart employees? Do you recognize their talent and reward them for their excellent work or do you completely ignore them, hoping that they would stop stealing your thunder?

If the former happens to be your case, then you certainly are a great leader who appreciates hard work and knows the importance of motivation. If, however, you recognized yourself in the latter case, you are not so good of a leader. Smart people in your workforce are not a threat – they are an important asset that needs to be acknowledged and nurtured. Otherwise, not only do you risk losing them, but you also risk losing a lot of revenue, not to mention your reputation.

Inability to Delegate

The ability to delegate is one of the most important traits of a good leader. Delegation is an essential part of every effective leadership, because it can greatly improve efficiency within a company and lead to its growth and development. If you don’t have the proper ability to delegate, you need to get on that as soon as possible.

As a leader, you need to be able to pass on your knowledge and skills to your employees, so you need to know how to help them grow and become best at what they do. By giving them authority on certain tasks and assigning them with a responsibility, you will encourage them to invest a lot of effort and do their best to complete the tasks with flying colours. You will empower them to truly contribute to the company, which will bring positive results regarding their quality of work.

My Idea Is the Only Right One!

There are certainly many employees within your company who can provide awesome ideas that can actually improve the company’s bottom line. Perhaps some of them have groundbreaking ideas that could take your company to a whole other level of success. If you don’t encourage them to speak up freely and present any idea they may have, you may miss out on a lot of fruitful opportunities.

You have two options: you can keep sitting in the dark, thinking it is you and only you who has the best ideas of them all, or you can start treating all of your employees equally and start taking their ideas into account as well. You never know – maybe your clerk has an idea that could completely transform your business and you never even considered hearing him or her out.

Lack of Empathy

Believe it or not, empathy is one of the key traits of a good leader. Why? Because if you cannot put yourself in another person’s shoes and look at certain issues from their perspective, you are not cut out to be a leader after all.

You need to be able to understand what your employees are going through at work and what problems they are facing, so that you can help them overcome any potential barriers and, thus, help them become better at their jobs.

Final Words

What kind of a leader are you? Do any of the aforementioned signs of a bad leader apply to you? Hopefully not, but if you actually do have these traits, start working on your personal improvement immediately and become a respectable leader who will be a true inspiration not only to employees, but also to the heads of many grand enterprises.
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Table of Content
Highlighting Employees’ Weaknesses to Feel Superior Fear of Smart People Inability to Delegate My Idea Is the Only Right One! Lack of Empathy Final Words

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