Signs of Bad Leadership: Steps to Become a Good Leader

Signs of Bad Leadership

The foundation for a successful team lies in the leaders. Such a team can work toward the success of an organization along with its leaders. But, do all leaders have inherent qualities that make them good leaders? Sadly, not!

Bad leaders can be a hurdle to the efficient functioning of an organization. They fail to support and lead the team, and can be a pain to the organization. What are bad leadership qualities, and how does one identify them? Are there ways bad leadership can be corrected? Read this blog to know more.

What is Bad Leadership?

There are certain leadership qualities that a leader is expected to have, to motivate and guide the team. The absence of such qualities in leaders gives rise to what is called bad leadership. Bad leadership can result in setbacks to an organization.

Indicators of Bad Leadership

How do you identify bad leadership? The presence of certain red flags helps you identify the leaders who lack the essential skills to lead the team. We have listed some of them for you below:

1. Lacks Listening Skills

Listening is a crucial skill needed in an organization. Team members feel respected when they are listened to. A leader should have active listening skills to understand the team members and guide them toward the business goal.

Listening is basic to communication and helps build a highly functional team. A bad leader lacks listening skills and pays no attention to the employee’s views and suggestions.

2. Lacks Communication Skills

An organization works on the basis of good communication. The employees should understand the instructions to work effectively. When leaders lack communication skills, the possibilities of misunderstandings arise.

Poor communication from the leaders leads to confusion in the teams. This can ruin their productivity and affects revenues.

3. Inability to Take Responsibilities

A leader is at the helm of a team and should be always ready to take responsibilites. This helps them grow and lead by example. Bad leaders hesitate to take responsibility and step back when there is any issue.

They cannot handle crisis situations, and do not help the team come out of problems. This way, they let the team down and severely impact the organization’s business continuity.


4. Inability to Lead a Team

Leading a team involves a lot of activities apart from just giving instructions. A bad leader is not able to guide and motivate the team. In case of errors, they blame the members and take no corrective action.

They lack authority and are indecisive. This leads to chaos in the team and ultimately disrupts the normal working of an organization.

5. Lack of Transparency in Operations

Transparency in the workplace helps in its growth. Employees feel secure and trust their leaders when they are transparent. Employees are working toward the goals of the business, and it is, therefore, essential that they are informed of all important changes/decisions.

Bad leaders are not transparent in goal direction, job assignments, reward and recognition programs, setting objectives, etc., and create bias in the organization.

6. Are Prejudiced

Bad leadership is reflected by way of being judgemental and prejudiced. Some leaders who differentiate between members of the same team and use their subjective opinions that interfere with peaceful working are examples of bad leadership.

7. Lacks Self-confidence

Only confident leaders can guide the team members efficiently. The employees seek inspiration from their leaders. People who lack self-confidence cannot take ownership and are always in doubt.

Such leaders are a hurdle to the smooth functioning of an organization. They fail to provide direction to their employees and struggle in fulfilling their roles.

8. Lacks Flexibility

Bad leadership is also reflected in a lack of flexibility. They are rigid and not ready to hear their employees out. They do not provide scope for growth and do not encourage innovation.

As organizations are home to people from diverse backgrounds, it is essential to be flexible to manage them successfully. When leaders lack flexibility, members of the team lose interest and feel demotivated.

9. Is Involved in Micromanagement

Management of employees is essential, but micromanagement is an evil in an organization. Monitoring even the smallest of tasks and controlling the employees’ work with extreme supervision will only lead to discontentment. This spoils the relationship between the employees and the leader.

Leaders should only provide guidelines to the employees to execute their tasks and be ready to offer suggestions when approached.

10. Does not Set Clear Goals

An employee should be assigned clear goals to be able to work efficiently. Assignment of goals is the duty of the leaders.

If they are not clear, they cannot assign tasks and do not know how to measure their performance which in turn affects their performance improvement. This results in bad leadership and, ultimately, affects the productivity of the company.

How to be a Good Leader?

Having listed the indicators of bad leadership, here are some tips that can help leaders become role models:

1. Develop Better Communication

Leaders should try to develop better communication skills. They should break the barriers that restrict free communication. Leaders should understand that communication is the foundation for better management. Being open and transparent gives way to better communication in leaders.

Listening is an important element in improving communication skills. A leader should have patience and must be ready to spend time with the employees to listen them out. This motivates the employees and improves their morale. It stimulates them toward better performance.

2. Build Relationships

Do you know that powerful communication is the first step to building relationships? A leader and the employees should have a strong bond as this will reflect in the performance of the organization. Listening to the employees also helps build relationships.

Regular feedback meetings and offering guidance without micromanagement help improve the relationship in an organization. Leaders should appreciate the efforts of the employees and recognize them. They should help sort out any issues, be it personal or professional.

3. Give Credit to Employees

In many organizations, we see that though a great amount of effort is put in by the team, the leaders take credit for the job done. They do not recognize their employees. They do this to move higher up on the corporate ladder, whereas they are not concerned about the team member’s growth. This can lead to displeasure and can even cause huge employee turnover.

A good leader should value their employee’s efforts and recognize them. Periodic review of work and a rewards program based on the same can provide the needed recognition to the employees.

4. Inspire Others

Employees learn a lot from leaders, the reason why leaders should be inspirational. Leaders should try to practise this in the workplace, in their daily routine, so that employees can observe them.

Leaders align their goals with that of the organization and help the employees in working toward the achievement of goals. Good leaders make employees valued and a part of the team. They maintain a positive outlook and also emphasize the same to the team members.

5. Encourage Growth

Leaders should encourage the growth of the employees by guiding them. They should offer them challenging opportunities and inspire them to fulfill them. Every employee aspires to move to higher roles. They should also prepare them for these positions.

Good leaders offer valuable suggestions that help employees in their growth. They also nominate the employees for training sessions and events that can make them the best fit for higher roles. Managers should appreciate the work of the team members and should be selfless in helping employees grow. They should inform them of any opportunities available.

6. Be Flexible

Flexibility is a great leadership quality. An organization is a place where flexibility is greatly required as employees from various backgrounds work at the same place. Being rigid here will only spoil the harmony of the workplace.

Leaders should understand the employees and must be flexible in setting goals. There should be a reasonable allowance in the timelines for the fulfillment of goals. This encourages employees and makes them committed to the organization.

Flexibility fosters better relationships between leaders and employees. It erases inhibition in the minds of team members and enables them to communicate better with the leaders.

7. Have Empathy

Understanding others from their point of view is a quality easier preached than practised. But this is a crucial characteristic needed in a good leader. A leader should be able to understand the employees. They should care for their mental, physical, and emotional wellness.

Sometimes the workplace can be stressful due to tight timelines, etc. Employees need the support of the leaders at such times to be able to complete tasks on time. Being empathetic helps in better communication.

Empathetic leaders are the ones who are more approachable. Employees can seek inspiration from leaders who can understand others well.

Key Takeaways

Bad leadership is destructive and curbs the growth of an organization. It is important that leaders understand the need to practise certain leadership qualities to inspire and lead their teams better.

A leader’s role is key to the prosperity of an organization. Follow the above-listed qualities to shine as a motivational leader. Workforce management solutions like factoHR can also help engage with your employees and build a high-performing team.

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