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15 Signs Of Bad Leaders You Need To Take Note Of

15 Signs Of Bad Leaders You Need To Take Note Of

What makes a person a good leader? Is it a position, salary or achievements? Well, yes, but those are not the most important things. Leaders can find and reveal true talents and skills of other people; they can support and promote good workers. If it is not happening, it is not a true leader, but just a boss who happens to take this position. Such people won’t bring much use to the company, firm, organization, enterprise, etc. You can easily define such a person if you analyze his or her behavior. Here are some signs you may notice.

1. They always blame someone else

“Is the project still not ready? It is the team’s fault and has nothing to do with my management.” “Doesn’t the new printer work? It must be broken; I don’t have time to read the instructions.” “Are employees always late? We need to get the new ones; I don’t have to discipline them.” Lousy leaders always blame someone or something: people, equipment, system, etc. It is never their fault! Good leaders are able to acknowledge their mistakes and to do something about them.

2. They are afraid of talented people

Bad leaders are very afraid of intelligent and talented people. If they can, they just don’t hire them. If they have to hire them, they always try to depreciate them and their work. Such leaders are insecure and self-conscious, which are not the best qualities for leading positions.

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3. They make people work very hard while they do nothing

Do you often see your boss watching fun YouTube videos, talking on the phone with friends, playing computer games or checking their social networks while you have to deal with numerous tasks? That is the right example of a bad leader. Often such leaders love to remind their employees how lazy and useless they are. A good leader should always be an example of a hard worker.

4. They threaten their employees

Bad leaders tend to constantly threaten their employees with discharge or demotion. Surely, fear can be a very powerful motivation, but true leaders have to be teachers; they should help people to have the desire to become better and to grow professionally. In this case, the results of work will be much better than with the fear. Threatening can cause nothing but negative emotions towards such leaders and their companies.

5. They intrigue

Bad leaders turn some employees against the others. They can say that certain people spread rumors or sneak on someone. They may think that it creates competitive environment and makes employees work harder. Office intrigues affect people’s morals. Good leaders shouldn’t let that happen. They need to create positive environment that people would want to come back to.

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6. They are always hezitant

Leaders have to be able to make decisions. If a person is too hesitant about anything starting with what paper to choose for copy machines and finishing with who should present the company at the next conference, he or she is not a leader material. A leader has to be confident and make decisions even if they are not always right.

7. They are arrogant

No one likes people who are always sure that they are right and they never make mistakes. Such people always feel superior and treat people like they know nothing. Arrogant leaders are often despised by their employees and have no respect from them.

8. They have terrible relationships with everyone at work

If a boss cannot have good relationships with the majority of employees, there can be no positive environment and effective management in this office. There are situations when bad bosses have many friends, but these are exceptions.

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9. They don’t like innovations

Bad leaders often like things the way they are and don’t want to do something new, to try some new techniques, to buy new equipment or to hire new professionals. They can spend years with no progress whatsoever. Such people hinder the team’s work and don’t allow their employees move forward and develop their skills.

10. They don’t care about what they do

Good leaders are often passionate about their job and about the whole industry they are a part of. If you don’t like what you do, it will be very difficult to inspire people who work for you. Bad leaders can actually become very good ones once they change their career path and choose some other sphere of business.

11. Their employees are miserable

To define bad leaders, you can not only look at them, but also take a good look at their employees. If a boss is clever, honest and fair, employees will be happy and motivated to work. If a boss is not very suitable to be a leader, employees will look tired and unhappy all the time. Great leaders create great workers.

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12. They are excessively familiar with their colleagues

Some bosses behave too familiar with their employees seeking for approval. They think that it’ll make them closer to their colleagues and everyone will like them. They can even share some very personal things such as a fight with their spouse or problems with their kids. Every good leader remembers about the boundaries at work. Such talks will only make employees uncomfortable and confused. Those are not the best emotions for work.

13. They lie

Well, that is a bad thing for any person, not just a leader. Some leaders don’t only lie to customers, their bosses, etc., but also make their employees cover for them. Obviously, that cannot end well in any scenario.

14. They micromanage too much

No one likes it when their boss watches every move they make. Excessive micromanaging is not the job for true leaders. They are supposed to be someone whom their workers admire and want to work hard for. This can be achieved by a personal example, work ethics, honesty and respect for people.

15. They are rude

If your boss swears a lot, yells to people, punishes employees for every small mistake, calls names and argues about unimportant things all the time, better look for a new job. Such people can rarely become successful leaders and lead people towards positive changes. All they do is to embarrass, humiliate and scare their workers.

Featured photo credit: Manager at work/Kristof Ramon via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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