[April 28, 2016] Militaries around the world struggle with instilling the right leadership qualities in their troops. And, as we know, weak leaders wreak havoc to the processes within any organization. In Part 1 we addressed 20 characteristics of weak leaders but also noted that leadership outcomes result from the interplay between the character of a leader, their leadership style, and their followers.1
In Part 2 we’ll address the fact that weak leaders are more likely to adopt particular leadership styles that when misused, contribute to their failures. For example, when leaders seize a one-size-fits-all form of leadership, regardless of what it is, they are no longer flexible when changes occur. Leadership demands fluidity in various techniques used to lead people and rigidity ensures failure.
“The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.” – Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Leadership styles that, when adopted, demonstrate weakness:
- Cerebral and Dispassionate Leadership (failure to connect with people, seen as arrogant and detached from people)
- Leading from Behind (waiting for others to make the first move and seen as slow and indecisive)
- Micromanagement Leadership (desire to be in charge of every detail and seen as lacking respect and value for others)
- Passive Leadership (lacking innovativeness and creativity, seen as doing nothing to adapt to a changing environment or circumstances)
- Task-Oriented Leadership (focusing only on the job and outcomes, seen as unforgiving, zero-defect tolerance, and not tolerant of people’s needs)
- One-size fits all Leadership (inability to be flexible and fluid)
Leaders who adopt these leadership styles will need intervention by a more senior leader or mentor. When the leader, who is a senior leader, adopts one of these, it can be especially problematic for the organization because that leader will be unable to deliver results. It means few people will challenge the decision to adopt a leadership style that, when combined with weak leader characteristics, is sure to mean multiple problems in the future.
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