Okay, frightening might be a bit of a strong word choice in the spirit of Halloween, but there is no doubt that these are BAD. Join me as I share some of the worst leadership “qualities” from the Leadership Hall of Shame. Then read on as I counter with a much more effective leadership style.
In a Forbes.com article on identifying bad leaders, author Mike Myatt aptly states, “It’s important to realize that just because someone holds a position of leadership, doesn’t necessarily mean they should.”
Frightful Leadership Quality: If something doesn’t turn out as planned, it must be someone else’s fault -because it’s definitely not yours.
Effective Leadership Quality: If you want to be an effective leader, practice accountability. This means taking responsibility in good times and bad. Set a strong leadership example by being accountable to your team at all times. When others see that you’re not afraid to take the blame, they’ll respect you all the more for it.
Frightful Leadership Quality: When someone reaches out to you with a new idea, your go-to phrase is always, “But that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Effective Leadership Quality: If you’re easily satisfied with the status quo and aren’t willing to think outside of the box, don’t expect to be considered a great leader anytime soon. A much more effective leadership style involves a focus on innovation and positive change, along with a willingness to be open to the ideas of others. As Myatt suggests, “…Leaders who build a static business doom themselves to failure.”
Frightful Leadership Quality: You have tunnel vision – or no vision at all.
Effective Leadership Quality: It’s not enough to know what your organization is about or how you do business. You must be able to answer the “why” question – why do you do what you do? You’d be amazed how many people can’t answer that question. One of the most effective leadership qualities you can have is a strong vision. If you don’t have a clear, sustainable vision, you’ll never be able to lead your team to success.
Frightful Leadership Quality: (You think) you know it all. Your opinions are second to none, and you wouldn’t dream of questioning yourself.
Effective Leadership Quality: The most effective leaders know that learning is a never-ending process, and they’re abundantly aware of how much they still need to learn. Overconfidence, a big ego, or an overly arrogant personality are not ideal qualities in anyone – especially not in a leader. Be open to learning, engage with your team so they can contribute their ideas, and accept that you won’t always be right all the time.
Frightful Leadership Quality: Communication with your team – what good would that do? After all, in your eyes, they’re your subordinates and you just don’t have the time to chit-chat anyway.
Effective Leadership Quality: One of the most effective leadership skills you can practice is excellent communication. Get to know your team! Share a little about yourself with them – and ask them to do the same. Show your team that you really care – if your staff gives you a birthday or Christmas card (or gift) and you don’t reciprocate, how do you think that makes them feel?
We all know that leadership isn’t about showing love all the time. But expressing kindness and conveying empathy where appropriate establishes you as a strong leader others will look up to.
No one is perfect, and in truth, we all have areas in our personality that could use a little polishing. If you want to be an effective leader, lead others by example by giving your very best at all times.
Colleen Slaughter, MBA, NCC, ACC, is the Chief Uplifter of Emerging Women at Authentic Leadership International. She empowers emerging women/leaders around the globe by giving them the tools to make bolder moves so that they can reach higher levels. Colleen’s advice has been featured in ABC, CBS, and NBC, and she was recently chosen from over 5,000 submissions to be featured in The Woman’s Advantage Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2015.
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