[September 13, 2022] Many books, articles, news stories, and such have been written about bad bosses, and all of us have spoken to one another about the poor leadership we’ve experienced. And I’ve written about the topic before (see links here, here, and here). Often, leaders present a typical picture of those traits of bad leadership.
Here is my take on what you might find in a bad leader:
- Lack of Respect (for those junior while doing the opposite for senior leaders)
- Rude and Selfish Behavior (which often comes with a feeling of superiority and privilege)
- Negativity (in many forms but especially when it comes to work interactions with junior employees)
- Unethical Conduct (there is nothing worse than someone who willingly gives up trust and confidence to personal whims)
- Laziness (physical and intellectual laziness means employees can expect little from that leader)
- Quick to Hog the Credit (instead of sharing it, the bad boss believes only he is responsible)
- Fails to Provide Rewards or Recognition (to those who deserve it)
- Rarely Available (for leaders, it’s about always being there for everyone, in particular for junior personnel)
- Rejects All Feedback (feedback should be seen as a gift; otherwise, you will not receive it)
- Fails to Delegate (it has been said that a leader cannot delegate responsibility, yet authority must be freely given)
- Uses Discipline Inappropriately (often, simple positive communication is all that is required)
- Causes Dissention (among and between groups)
- Establishes an Environment of In and Out-Groups (inappropriately rejects some employees over others)
- Impatient (desires immediate results)
While reading this list, you might have predicted that those bad leaders would quickly learn from their behavior after receiving feedback from their senior bosses. This is, however, rarely the case. The leaders often reject the feedback or use it against other employees. The bad leader is also very good at hiding from responsibility; this is a common trait too often found.
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