Tips for Thought

Six Qualities That Make Someone a Bad Leader

Every organization requires effective leadership. Ideally, a great leader must possess certain qualities and skills that enable the team and its members to achieve their goals. Additionally, the leader must learn to motivate and encourage each member to utilize their strengths to feel empowered and appreciated at work.

There are many leadership types, each with strengths and weaknesses, although some are more prone to lousy leadership than others.

What Is Bad Leadership?

Bad leadership is the opposite of quality leadership. This instance is a dynamic in which a leader possesses qualities and traits that hinders or prevents a team from achieving its goals. Bad leaders also actively harm the organization or company because they demotivate the group, prevent each member’s career growth, and create an unhealthy work environment.

What Are the Qualities Of a Bad Leader?

The sad reality is that many employees overlook their leader’s bad qualities because of the latter’s authoritarian position. However, knowing the characteristics of a bad leader can help them find solutions to improve the future work environment.

Here are some traits of a bad leader to remember:

1. They are selfish.

Bad leaders are selfish. Instead of focusing on the company or team’s growth, they are most likely focused on their own progress on the corporate ladder. Selfish leaders take credit for others’ work when things go right while shifting blame when things go wrong. Bad leaders also make crucial decisions without considering the rest of the team’s input, thinking they have more authority than others.

2. They are lazy.

Bad leaders believe they are above doing the hard work necessary to achieve a goal. While good leaders delegate tasks, great leaders contribute to the team’s overall success by leading through example. On the other hand, bad leaders do not believe they are part of the team and would instead do the easy tasks or none.

3. Bad leaders don’t listen.

Communication is a necessity in any relationship, even at work. An effective leader would listen to their team’s views and suggestions during meetings before deciding. However, a lousy leader would do the opposite, where they listen very little or none.

4. They have zero empathy.

Good leaders understand their team members and can quickly put themselves in other people’s perspectives. A bad leader, however, only feels and thinks for himself. This lack of empathy makes them more judgmental of other people’s mistakes while preventing the possibility of working toward a better solution.

5. A bad leader micromanages.

Micromanaging means supervising and controlling every aspect of the team’s work and dynamic. A leader who micromanages needs more faith in their team member’s work ethic, thinking they can do better.

6. Bad leaders lack vision and focus.

In a company, a team must work together to achieve a goal. Effective leaders help the team achieve their shared goal by projecting focus and vision. This projection enables them to break down the goal into achievable tasks or milestones, bringing them closer to the ultimate goal.

A bad leader cannot project vision and focus to his teammates. They conform to what is expected of them and do not feel the need to make long-term plans that benefit everyone. When this instance happens, it can demotivate and confuse the team, making it hard for each member to achieve the objectives necessary in their work.

Tips for Handling a Bad Leader At Work:

Bad leaders are more common than you think. However, there are instances where you can improve your circumstances by the following:

1. Focus on your strengths.

Having a bad leader doesn’t mean you can’t use your time to learn and improve your craft. While it may not be easy to get on a bad leader’s good side, it helps to keep a professional distance and focus on how to use this opportunity to better your career and skills. Your resilience will reward you in the end.

2. Set healthy limits.

Some bad leaders may be critical or use whatever means to demean and demotivate their subordinates. When this happens to you, avoid reacting impulsively and always react dignifiedly and maturely. Avoid risking your future over something trivial.

3. Avoid sabotaging others.

Bad bosses demotivate and cause their employees to do the same. However, instead of continuing this cycle of demotivation and destruction, be resistant to this cycle and encourage growth and responsibility. Your co-workers certainly will appreciate you even if your bad boss doesn’t.

4. Clarify any doubts.

Bad bosses need better communication skills. However, you can improve this situation by allowing your leader to be transparent with you, asking questions when necessary, and getting things in writing if required. Explain yourself clearly yet calmly, and leave no room for any doubts.

5. Take care of yourself.

Bad leaders can have an overwhelming effect on others. However, avoid letting their negative attributes cloud your judgment and personal life. Exercise, eat well, and sleep the right amount every day. Your life is more than just pleasing your boss and working.

6. Resign.

It’s challenging to change a lousy leader if they refuse to listen. However, if you feel you have exhausted all options or are looking to spread your wings and fly, consider resigning and looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

Remember that resignation should always be the last option, and it’s best not to turn in your two weeks’ notice unless you already have another job lined up. Remember to think ahead and be responsible in handling your future.

Takeaway: A lousy leader can affect a team and a company’s success and progress. While there are some ways to help mitigate their qualities, looking for another workplace that appreciates your talents and contributions may be the best solution overall.