Leadership in any organization is of the utmost importance. Without a good leader a company is doomed to fail. Unfortunately there are several categories of poor leadership, a few of which we will discuss today. Perhaps the greatest weapon against a bad leader is self-awareness, if one is able to identify their own negative qualities then that is the first step in correcting those nasty character flaws. Some of the more common types of poor leaders are the micromanager, the nice guy, the bully, the know-it-all and the distant leader. Below are the warning signs and problems with these not-so-great managers.
The micromanager is relatively self-explanatory this is the type of boss who is just incapable of delegating properly. He can’t leave well enough alone and he constantly needs to check up or be involved in every menial task that takes place within his department or organization. The problem with this is he stops becoming a boss he just becomes another worker. The micromanager has no vision, no plan for the future and as such the company, or whatever he is in charge of, suffers. The major character flaw here is an inability to delegate or exercise control with out being directly involved, control freaks and individuals with trust issues are the most common examples of the micromanager.
The nice guy. Who doesn’t want a nice boss, well no one should want one that’s too nice. Kindness and compassion are absolutely necessary for any good leader, and beyond that true understanding of those who work for you, but there is such a thing as being too nice. The nice guy is the boss who has a problem with the hard conversations; he’s the boss who can’t fire that inept employee or give that difficult employee his review. What happens here is those that need improvement are often not aware that they do, and the really bad employees stick around too long and destroy the company from within. Individuals who are unsure of themselves and don’t have a healthy confidence are often the most common personality types that display the nice guy tendencies.
The bully, that nasty, negative abusive boss who never has anything nice to say, rules by fear, and is the one you dread to see in the office. This may be the most dangerous type of bad leader as these individuals will do more then just mess up productivity, these days if you say the wrong thing to an employee you are accountable and can face potential litigation. To rule by fear is never the answer, as you will never inspire any true loyalty and the first chance someone gets to make you look bad or undermine you they will take it. Ironically the most common character types to display the bully tendencies are the same ones who display the nice guy tendencies, those with poor confidence or an un-healthy self-esteem.
The know-it-all is also a very dangerous example of bad management. This is the guy who knows absolutely everything, surrounds himself with yes men and likes to tell everyone how to do everything. Often times this person thinks he’s doing everyone a favor by enlightening them or showing them his correct way of thinking. The problem here is that this person rarely listens to a differing opinion and one of the greatest strengths of a good leader is to understand that they do not know everything (no one does). So eventually the wrong decision gets made and the company suffers. For any organization to truly grow all of its assets must be used, and everyone’s opinions should be thrown in the pot, varying perspectives are key in the building of any successful business. The defining characteristic for this individual is arrogance.
Finally we have the distant leader, he who sits in his ivory tower and makes proclamation from on high. This is the guy you never see, never gets his hands dirty but always seems to have an opinion about how to do things. He’s managing his department or business but he really has no idea what’s going on because he’s never there. This causes an obvious problem because it is impossible to make the right decisions when you don’t really know what’s going on. The common character traits for the distant leader are laziness and or arrogance.
Ultimately to lead is a difficult thing, which is why most of us follow. Bad management comes in many forms, above are just a few of the more prominent ones. As an employee the best you can do is a good job, inform the inept individual’s superiors if the right opportunity presents itself or try and let your boss know what he is doing wrong (these last two can be a bit risky if not executed properly). We hope our managers and leaders that fall into anyone of these categories will eventually take a step back and see what they are doing, and then at that point takes the proper steps to correct those mistakes. Self awareness and a benevolent and realistic attitude are great qualities in a leader, if these qualities are possessed then the person in charge will eventually realize what he is doing wrong and take steps to correct it, if not then the company will suffer.
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by Jarrad Kulick