10 Bad Leadership Traits You Need To Avoid

Have you ever had a boss that was totally clueless? Never knew what was happening? Or what was the next step to take?

Probably drove you crazy. It’s driven me crazy in the past. He had bad leadership traits.

But reflecting on my own leadership, I know I’ve done things that drove others insane. You probably have too.

Man falling from mountain sign

Image by Matthew Howarth

It’s an easy thing to overlook. We’re so busy leading and taking care of what needs to be done. Missing the cues that we’ve messed up and created a mess is easy.

We need to be careful of this. If we’re not, we’ll drive our team away.

Beware of these ten leadership failures…

  1. Being arrogant: Not much worse than a leader that is arrogant. Unwilling to compromise and come to an equitable solution. And shouting how great you are to anyone and everyone that will listen. You may be knowledgeable but, remember, there’s always someone better than you.
  2. Keeping the wrong people in the wrong seat: Jim Collins talks about this issue quite a bit. You may have good people. And you probably have seats that need to be filled. The problem occurs when you place the wrong, but good, people in the wrong seat. No one is happy and nothing gets done well.
  3. Allowing dissension to occur: This one can be easy to overlook. Dissension can hide itself as discourse and common disagreement. But you need to be careful. Dissension will lead to a fracturing of your team.
  4. Failure to build relationships: When you fail to build great relationships you lose the greatest reward of leadership. The companionship and trust of others. Without relationship, you have no one to fall back on when times are tough.
  5. Complacency: Coming to the point where everything is good and you feel there is nowhere else to go. Never a good point to reach. There’s always somewhere else you can go. You need to have a goal to strive for.
  6. Stop learning: Leaders must continue to learn. When you stop learning, you become stagnant.
  7. You no longer have a mentor: You should always have someone that you can be accountable to and someone that teaches you. Losing this accountability and teacher is dangerous.
  8. Losing discipline: You require your team to have discipline. When you lose yours, your team takes notice. They’ll often join you in becoming undisciplined. That’s not what you want. The team should be well disciplined and eager to go.
  9. Not knowing your strengths: Knowing your strengths is vital to your leadership. You will be able to more effectively delegate and farm out the tasks that you are not effective at. You’re also able to focus on the items that bring you strength and you work best in.
  10. You don’t lead: What’s worse than a leader that does 1-9 on the list? One who doesn’t lead at all. If you’re going to be a leader, you must take on the responsibility and lead your team.

These are but a few of the traits of bad leadership. Be sure to avoid them.

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.
— Andrew Carnegie

Question: What can you add to the list of bad leadership traits? How have you fallen into the trap of bad leadership? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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