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7 Signs That You’re a Bad Leader

By Sharon Hooper

Being a leader doesn’t always come naturally to people. In fact, for every successful person in leadership, there is likely an equal person with a position of power who still needs to sharpen their skills. Does this sound familiar to you?

Before enlisting yourself as a capable leader, consider your talents honestly. Maybe you need to take more time to grow into the position…or maybe you’re just a bad leader.

How can you tell the difference? Check out these seven signs to let you know whether or not you’re a bad leader.

  1. You Fail to Communicate
    Nothing screams “bad leader” like one who cannot communicate effectively. PPerhaps you fail to acknowledge someone’s strengths, you don’t inform people about certain events, or you simply forget to reply to emails all the time. Regardless, quality leadership requires someone to share ideas in a direct and timely manner.
  2. You Lack Ambition
    It’s sad to see leaders who are exhausted of all their drive. Remember how you were first passionate about your position? You probably initially thought ten steps ahead, developed lofty dreams, and created solid goals for your future. Now, however, you show up deflated and resist the idea of moving forward. True leaders remain engaged and eager for more.

    “In order to be a leader, you first have to lead yourself,” says Nate Young, CEO of EduGeeksClub: “You have to have the passion and ambition to make your vision a reality. If others can’t see that in you, they’ll follow suit and become ineffective.”

  3. You Don’t Practice Humility
    Is your company or team results all about you? If you avoid placing the spotlight on others and only brag about your own accomplishments, you aren’t really leading anyone—you’re just showing off. Not only is this distasteful to those who look up to you, but it’s also a quality that won’t draw in potential leaders. Soon you’ll find yourself grooming people who believe selfishness is the way to make it to the top, which is a backwards concept.
  4. You Refuse to Connect with Others
    Empathy and emotional intelligence are highly sought traits by great leaders. Whether you’re in the workplace or just leading a group activity, it’s important to be mindful of everyone else’s needs. After all, when you’re working as a team, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. A bad leader refuses to connect with others and form relationships, so they don’t even bother offering compassion to people who might require more support or an alternative approach in communicating.
  5. You Avoid Confrontation
    When a problem arises, bad leaders often act passive-aggressively, instruct another person to handle the situation, or avoid confrontation altogether. This becomes a cycle of resentment within the leader, and it’s a part of poor communication that will ultimately result in no true solution. Great leaders will face a challenge head-on; bad leaders lack the confidence to confront a problem, no matter how large or small it is.
  6. You’re Never Consistent
    Sometimes you show up with a positive attitude; other times you’re so dismal that everyone else becomes discouraged. Sometimes you’re extremely productive, and other times you fail to get anything done in a day. Sometimes people can rely on you, but most of the time people question if you can fix a problem. Bad leaders aren’t completely dependable, and that makes their leadership a guessing game.
  7. You Believe Leadership Equals Supervision
    Leadership used to be a role in which one would constantly supervise the other. However, the character of a great leader has been redefined as someone who leads by example. Great leaders show how something should be done by demonstrating it themselves, rather than being the authoritarian who watches everyone else constantly. Bad leaders happen to believe in controlling and monitoring others excessively, which actually makes for less productive—and more stressed out—team members.

In Summary
Unfortunately, bad leadership happens more often than you think. This type of leader is arrogant, apathetic, incapable of showing effective communication, and inconsistent to a fault. If you identify with any of the seven qualities above, it may be a flaw you can fix right away—or you may just be a bad leader, too.

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.
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