The bad leader checklist

Do you sometimes wonder if you are bad leader? Do you see ‘leaders’ around you and wonder ‘is that really how it should be done?’

We have all experienced them, and maybe it’s a bit like driving… We all think we are above average drivers, and yet if we are, who are the 50% that are below average?

Here are seven indicators that you might be in the bottom 50%. Tick any that apply to you.

  1. You have the all answers and don’t listen. No need to ask them. After all, if your direct reports were as smart as you, they would be in your role. Set the course and keep moving. Don’t waste time pandering to the opinions of others.
  2. You focus exclusively on the work. KPIs are king. The ‘people stuff’ is simply a distraction. Everyone gets a salary and that should be incentive enough to get the work done.
  3. You use your big stick. Carrots don’t work. Knowing the implications if they were to stuff up gives people a performance edge.
  4. You focus on the success of your division. Life’s competitive and the workplace is no exception. Focus on your priorities so you and your team look good.
  5. You keep emotions out. Emotions don’t belong in the workplace. Everyone, including you, works best when the softer stuff is left at the door.
  6. You micromanage. People can’t be trusted to deliver to standard. Give them the work, and then keep on their backs to make sure it’s delivered on time and exactly the way you want it.
  7. You provide a work plan but no vision. Focus on what to do, and don’t waste time with ‘why’ we are doing it because surely that’s self-evident. When people ask ‘what’s the vision?’, just make sure they know what to do by when.

How did you go? If you ticked one, a little focused effort will get you back on track. If you ticked two or three, we should talk because I can help you be more inspiring and effective as a leader. If you tick four or more, welcome to the bottom half – it might be time for a career rethink!

What other traits of the ‘bad leader’ have you experienced?