Ten Qualities of Bad Leadership to Avoid

Innovate Design StudiosInnovate Today 6 Comments

One essential management quality that seems to be in short supply today is good leadership. While it’s true that good leadership encourages productivity, bad leadership qualities tend to stifle growth and morale. As a leader, being able to identify such poor leadership qualities could be useful in avoiding them altogether. So, in this post, we discuss the importance of leadership and ten qualities of bad leadership to avoid. We hope this post helps our readers identify these leadership traits so they can be avoided.

Take a minute to think about the different bosses you’ve had during your work career. Who was the best boss you ever had? What were the unique qualities he had? Also, think about the worst bosses you’ve had. What specific traits made them such bad leaders?

Before we proceed to discuss why leadership is important, here are some related posts you might find equally useful:

  1. Five Essential Qualities of Leadership
  2. Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership
  3. Seven Team Management Skills you need to Effectively Lead your Team
  4. Seven Tips on How to Lead during a Crisis
  5. Five Things to do when You want to Give Up
  6. Ten Excellent Tips on How to deal with a Difficult Boss
  7. How Passion creates Great Leaders

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In the next section, we will take a brief look at why leadership is so important.

Why Leadership is Important

According to the Merriam Webster’s dictionary, leadership is the capacity to lead in a direction. This means that leadership is what determines the direction of a group or organization and ultimately, its success. There is no business, organization or endeavor that can thrive without good leadership.

Here are some reasons why leadership is important:

  1. For effective planning and execution
  2. For crisis management
  3. Effective leadership provides guidance and direction
  4. For discovery and implementation of new ideas
  5. Good leadership helps in the accomplishment of organizational goals
Ten Qualities of Bad Leadership to Avoid

In this section, we’ve listed ten qualities of bad leadership to avoid. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it can be useful in highlighting the traits of a bad leader:

  1. Poor Communication Skills: One of the worst qualities of bad leadership is poor communication or complete failure to communicate. In some cases, this may be because of poor communication skills. However, in other cases, it may be an intentional act by the leader to keep teammates in the dark. Good leaders not only communicate effectively, they also encourage feedback and dialogue.
  2. Self-Centeredness: A self-centered or selfish leader is only concerned about himself and what he stands to benefit. As a result of this mentality, he places his welfare above that of his team. On the other hand, good leaders place the welfare of their team and company above their own.
  3. Lack of Vision: Leaders with vision communicate what they see about where they are leading their team or company. Vision gives direction to effort. Without it, goals cannot be defined, and success can’t be achieved.
  4. Lack of Empathy: Empathy is the act of understanding the feelings and experiences of others. One of the traits of a bad leader is a lack of empathy. In other words, they are unable to understand the experiences and challenges their coworkers and teammates face. Consequently, they are do not use their position of leadership to help them. In general, it makes such leaders come across as insensitive or mean.
  5. Inconsistency: Being inconsistent is another bad leadership quality that can cause problems for a team. This usually results in confusion among team members and a feeling that some teammates are favored above others.
  6. Conflict Avoidance: As a leader, there are times when it is impossible to avoid conflict. The simple fact is that some issues need to be addressed directly so they can be resolved. Bad leaders on the other hand tend to avoid or ignore conflict altogether. As you can imagine, this usually leads to further conflict that affects harmony and team spirit.
  7. Excessive focus on Money: One of the primary goals of any business is to make money. However, bad leaders focus excessively on money, especially at the expense of customers and teammates. As you can imagine, this always leads to a high turnover rate among both customers and staff.
  8. Indecision: A bad leader wastes excessive time during the decision-making process. This usually results in missed opportunities and failed projects.
  9. Not Accountable: Good leaders are accountable to their staff, customers and where applicable, Board of Directors. On the other hand, bad leaders avoid protocols that encourage accountability.
  10. Control Freaks: Last among our list of qualities of bad leadership is excessive control. Bad leaders try to be directly involved in every aspect of a job or project. On the other hand, good leaders delegate responsibilities to teammates and give them the opportunity to grow.

In retrospect, what leadership qualities did your best and worst boss ever have? Are there any qualities of bad leadership you’ve experienced that are not listed here? Share them with us using our comments section at the end of this post. As always, we would love to hear from you.

Today’s Funny Quote


The surest sign that intelligent life exists Bill Watterson

Our funny quote today is by Bill Watterson, the American Cartoonist:

The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.

Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section at the end of this post.

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Comments 6

    1. Thanks for commenting Gordon,
      What did you find most insightful about the post? Do feel free to shed more light on your initial comment. Also remember to subscribe to our electronic mailing list to receive more inspiring posts like this one, if you’ve not done so yet.
      Have a great week ahead and do stay safe.

    1. Thanks for your comment Peter. We are glad you found this post helpful.,
      Do feel free to check out other posts on our website and subscribe to our electronic mailing list.
      Thanks again, stay safe and have an awesome weekend ahead.

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