5 Signs that You’re a Bad Leader – Sharon Hooper

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You’re a bad leader. Do you have someone to tell you that? No. Your team members would never be that specific. If you have a supervisor, they will tell you that your leadership style needs adjustments, and they will probably do it in a subtle way. If they think you’re a bad leader, they will just simply fire you.

So how do you know whether you’re a good or a bad leader?

Self-evaluation is the key concept here. You know that leadership comes with a learning curve. You get better as you practice and learn more. You’re not born; you’re made into a great leader. Start by identifying the things that make you bad at leading. We’ll give you 5 signs that show you’re a bad leader. If you recognize yourself in any of them, it’s time to start making adjustments.

  1. You Equalize Leadership with Supervision

Many people understand the leader’s role superficially. They mainly perceive it as someone who delegates tasks and supervises their completion. A great leader, however, is a great motivator. They lead by example. They show how things should be done instead of checking if things have been done properly.

Marge Gregory, Editor-in-Chief for EssayOnTime, shares her experience: “My job as a regular editor was mostly limited to supervising. I checked the work of the authors from my team, I made the needed corrections, and I gave them feedback. When I got promoted to editor-in-chief, I continued doing the same thing. The teams under my supervision were not performing well. I realized: I must be doing something wrong here. I was. My direct supervision was making them stressed and unmotivated. They were anxiously waiting for my feedback every single day. I changed that approach. Instead of here’s what you did wrong, I shifted towards here’s what we can do better.”

You’re a leader, not a supervisor. Remember that!

  1. You Don’t Have a Consistent Leadership Style

Did you show up with a smile in the office today? How about yesterday? Did you have that positive attitude or were you criticizing and discouraging? Do you notice that sometimes you’re very productive and sometimes you don’t spend the entire day on social media? Do you notice that your troubles at home are affecting the way you work? You have a serious problem: inconsistency.

Great leaders are characterized with dependability. They are timely, productive, attentive to detail, and always supportive. Bad leaders, on the other hand… well, you don’t know what to expect from them. Sometimes they are very motivating, and sometimes the employees are freaked out by their approach.

Your leadership must not be a guessing game. Develop your style and keep it consistent!

  1. You Don’t Develop a Connection with People

Think about any great leader. Let’s take Richard Branson as an example. What are the most important traits that make his leadership style special? Empathy. Emotional intelligence. An ability to develop connections with his employees. He is known for putting the employees first. That’s why they are happy and motivated to work under his leadership.

A leader who is cold and distant is a bad leader. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at the workplace or in the middle of a team-building activity. It’s always important to keep the needs of your employees to mind. It’s important to make them feel comfortable around you. If they perceive you as a distant person, they won’t bother offering their best ideas and speaking up when they have something to say. That’s not the way to build a productive working environment.

  1. You’re Always in the Spotlight

If you’re always bragging about your own accomplishments without giving any credits, you’re a bad leader. In fact, you’re a terrible leader. When you succeed, you have to place the spotlight on the entire team. Without their contributions, you’d never make it this far. Not giving them credit for everything they did is disrespectful and distasteful.

Whenever you and your team do something great, show your appreciation. Never take the whole credit for yourself. Give everyone the attention they deserve. A decent sense of humility will definitely make you a better leader.

  1. You’re Not Ambitious

This is a problem for many mediocre leaders. They lost or never found their drive. They resist the idea to take any risk and they prefer to keep the company in the comfort zone. If it’s making enough money, it has to be okay, right? Wrong. The employees are constantly wondering: “where is this going?” If they see no chances for growth, they will start considering other options. We’re not talking about growth in terms of getting promotions. We’re talking about the growth of a company they can be proud of.

Great leaders take risks and steps ahead. They have dreams and goals. That enthusiasm is reflected on all employees. Ambition is one of the essential qualities a true leader must have.

Bad leadership is more common than you think. If you became a leader, it doesn’t mean you’re at your best. There’s always space for growth and improvement. The first step is to identify and fix your flaws. If you recognized yourself in some of the 5 signs above, you already have a starting point.

Sharon is a marketing specialist and blogger from Manchester, UK.

When she has a minute, she loves to share a few of her thoughts about marketing, writing and blogging with you.

You could follow Sharon on Facebook.