Leadership is not a badge you wear to oppress other team members. It surpasses your title and salary. It is about your attitude to work, and your desire to move your organisation to its full potential and spur your employees to achieve a common goal.
The problem is that most leaders can easily spot bad leadership qualities in others, but can’t identify the signs in themselves. As such, they fail to see how their behaviours the overall success of their team.
To solve this problem, we have identified 8 signs that point to you being a bad leader.
1. You Make Everything about You
If you are quick to jump into the spotlight and push other team members to the background, you need to assess your leadership. Every win is not about you. It’s about the team and the organisation as a whole.
As a leader, your role is to motivate and encourage others. Congratulate others when the team wins and motivate them to be better when there are setbacks. You need to know when to step back for others to be praised, and when to speak up for the team.
Don’t be too fast to do work yourself. Delegate duties to other people and let them own the responsibility. If you have coached your team as you should, trust them to perform well.
2. You Never Practice What You Preach
Good leaders know that change and growth start with them. Do not expect others to follow rules and procedures you don’t follow yourself. If you don’t clock in at work at the appropriate time, don’t expect your employees to do the same.
As a leader, many people are influenced by your actions and attitude. You are putting other people at a disadvantage when you go rogue and expect them to follow the rules. You are setting a gradual pace for rebellion.
3. You Micromanage Your Team
It’s a common misconception that micromanagers are a good team leader. In the real sense, they are horrible leaders. They make simple tasks seem impossible for everybody and stifle creativity.
The core of leadership is humility and service, and not interfering in other people’s tasks. Trust your team members. Learn to be flexible and give others the room to explore. No one can grow with an oppressive managerial style.
Delegate duties and allow people to carry out activities as they see fit. If you see a threat, correct them and step back. It is one of the core principles of leadership and development planning to successfully manage a team.
4. You Are Never Wrong
Admitting you are wrong is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it shows strength and trust. If you made a mistake say so, and correct yourself. Do not point fingers at others and blame them for your negligence. Give room for others to correct you. A team can only grow when there is transparency and healthy criticism.
Your processes cannot always be right. Subjective ideas are boring and impair creativity. Give others room to air their opinion. You do not want a team of lacklustre and uninspired individuals waiting for your next word in order to move.
Acknowledge other people and their opinions. Cultivate a team of people who are consistently searching for new solutions to problems.
5. You Lack Emotional Intelligence
There’s nothing worse than a leader who takes out his/her pain on team members. This means employees are always waiting for the hammer to drop, hindering productivity and encouraging fear in the workplace.
As a leader, you should be able to control your emotions and react to situations objectively. Employees should feel comfortable to air their opinions and take calculated risks without fear of any outburst or drama. You should also learn to consider your employee's emotions.
6. You Never Keep to Your Word
Every time you make a promise you don’t fulfil, you are encouraging cynicism in your team. This is the fastest way to lose respect, earn resentment and reduce productivity. As a leader, learn the habit of saying only what you can do. Do not brag about things that you cannot achieve. Doing this will dampen the gusto of your team members.
If for some reason you cannot fulfil something you have promised, tell your team in advance. Let people know they can trust you and count on you always.
7. You Have Poor Communication Skills
A breakdown in communication can cause lots of problems. A horrible leader will constantly complain about things without providing the right solution.
A great leader understands that communication swings both ways. They are good listeners, fluid thinkers, and are able to communicate excellently across different mediums and environments.
8. You Hoard Information
Nothing is worse than a leader who keeps information from other team members. Such leaders are preparing the team for failure. Usually leaders hide information in order to control and assert power on others, or simply because they are distrustful. This sole trait can destroy a company faster than you think. You leave your team to work in the dark and they will produce subpar results.
As a leader, you should share information and show organisational transparency with team members.
Having one or all of these traits does not mean you are destined to be a bad leader for life. It is a sign that you need to change your leadership style. Now that you are aware of how these traits can negatively affect your team, you can work on changing these characteristics of your leadership style.