Bad Leadership Qualities To Be Aware & Avoid In Organization

Leadership is one of the critical components determining the success of an organization.

Poor leadership directly affects employee morale, and the bottom line is that the company’s performance suffers.

Bad leadership impacts employee retention, and their productivity levels stoop down.
It is important to know the traits of a bad leader so that they can be noticed and dealt with earlier before an organization suffers.

The moment you identify a bad leader, you need to avoid the pitfalls that make you a bad leader and strengthen the leadership within your team and the managers.

What Are Bad Leadership Qualities?

Bad leadership qualities cause considerable collateral damage that is often hidden. High employee turnover, low productivity, and low engagement point to bad leadership qualities.

When it comes to good leadership is an important trait to ensure the success of an organization.
People do not leave companies but leave managers, and this is truer than ever.

The immediate boss of an employee will influence how motivated or engaged that employee will be.

The manager has a profound impact on the culture or any other factor within the organization’s control.

Common Traits Of Bad Leadership And How To Fix Them In Your Organization?

Poor leadership qualities take various qualities or forms that are critical to enhancing employee retention and company performance.

If you are in a leadership position and looking to enhance your leadership skills, here are a few traits you can consider.

Poor communication

Leadership at every level requires clear and concise communication.

At a higher level, poor communication can emerge in the form of unclear team values, mission, culture, etc.; communication skills play an important role in the day-to-day working of a company.

Coming up in an accusing manner can rub off the wrong way, even if they are bad leaders. Some leaders are unaware that they lack communication skills, and a single person reaching out to them would streamline things.

Finding out about their leadership styles is preferable to trying to manage your superiors.

Poor influence from the top

Good leaders can engage and evolve within the team environment. Poor leaders are limited to exercising control over the hierarchy structure, which is one of the few characteristics that hamper productivity in the workplace.

It is not only the inability to motivate employees; a bad leader feels they can act however they want.

As a leader or a team member, you should lead by example. This needs to include your actions and words.

In addition, you need to be clear about your intentions and words and set a precedent for how you will communicate with others. Good leaders will always try to deal with concerns without attacking others.

The absence of strategic thinking

Lacking the capacity to consider things and act practically to accomplish their goals, leaders lack strategic thinking abilities.

This is a sign of bad leadership, as those in charge are meant to lead people to success. A major issue with bad leaders is their reliance on themselves to make decisions.

To overcome this situation, the leader needs to take up challenges and, if the need arises, make tough calls.

This is easier said than done, but you must put your team above anyone else and make tough calls if the situation arises.

The fact is that leaders are bound to make decisions that influence others.

Poor delegation and time management

Poor time management means leaving things at the last moment to achieve deadlines or leaders who have a lot of things to deal with.

Effective leaders are able to plan and delegate things so that everyone is clear about their roles and responsibilities.

Often, people end up pushing themselves and taking on more than they can afford.
The solution to this problem is to keep things organized.

Have a candid discussion with your team on whether they would require more teams to complete the tasks.

Effective leaders will have no qualms about getting their hands dirty and will be more than happy to listen to their employees on managing things.

Lack of conflict resolution skills

Rather than addressing the concerns, a bad leader finds an easy way out by brushing things under the carpet.

During the stages of confirmation or stress, a leader showcases whether they are mentally strong or weak.

When a leader cannot solve the problem, the role of the leader comes under scrutiny.
To better address the issues at the workplace, it is important to deal with the problems head-on. You do not need to go about it in a roundabout manner.

A golden rule to follow is what are the reasons for conflict, so it is better that you avoid the problem the next time. Numerous methods of conflict resolution are there that you need to be aware of.

Lack of leadership development

Individual contributors who do well are rewarded with management or leadership positions. The issue in such cases is that they are not able to do justice to the position.

If you are looking to promote a leader, it is vital that you invest in leadership development. This needs to be based on their success in their current role.

Promoting someone into a leadership role, if they are not ready for it, gives training on leadership development.
We need to look up to their performance in the current role, and when we focus on the potential, we need to use a different lens.

You may notice that some employees who do not have the potential to become stars may have the ability to do so.

Bad Leadership Qualities You Should Avoid

If you have worked for anyone, you probably would be aware of what makes a good and bad leader.

But the thing is that leadership is not an easy task, just as putting words into practice is a difficult task. Just because theoretically managing a team does not make him a great leader.

Suppose you are looking to head a department. There are some qualities of bad leaders that you need to avoid.

Bad Leadership Qualities You Should Avoid

  • Feeding Vainglory
  • Too much pride
  • Not able to follow
  • Not accepting mistakes
  • Having unrealistic goals
  • Avoiding conflict
  • Too much focus on revenue
  • Too much of micromanaging
  • Failing to having control
  • Not focusing on team
  • Too much focus on themself
  • No encouragement to team

Feeding Vainglory and pride

Vainglory is a term people are not used to hearing before, but it is more prevalent at an intensive level than before.

When you are leading a team, it may be tempting to take credit and step into the limelight. But an effective leader needs to be aware of these tendencies and remain humble on all counts.

Inability to follow

It would be difficult to lead whenever you have not gone on to follow other people in your life. Genuine experience as a follower is necessary for effective team management.

Without this upbringing, it would be impossible to empathize with your workers or know what to expect from them. Be aware that a good leader is a good follower.

Not accepting the blame.

The logic holds that the captain goes down with the ship. It is a leadership trait that marks effective managers.

They are the one who is responsible for ensuring goals are met efficiently and appropriately. So, when this is not the case, they are the first to blame themselves.

Unrealistic expectations are set.

Few things fall from bad to worse if hard-working teams fail to comply with the expectations of the leaders.

After all, if you have put in the hard work, it is natural to hope that your goals are attainable. So, it is vital that managers pay attention to the prevailing conditions of the market and set realistic expectations.

The focus has to be on revenue.

There is more to life than money, which is important for a business. Without it, the operations and functions would cease to exist.

Employee satisfaction and happiness are as important as the work itself. If the leaders drive away the best talent by focusing on the wrong areas, they lose more than money.

Avoiding conflict

Conflict is not something that people look up to. It is emotionally draining and messy, but for leaders, it needs to be done, and there are no exceptions.

If one of the workers has problems with any of their peers, the conflict can come in the way of achieving the business goals.

Micromanaging and failure to relinquish control

Leaders need to know that they can trust the teams they have put together. Providing employees with the space to complete their tasks is an effective way of achieving this.

A good leader needs to know that they have formed effective teams and can accomplish the task without instruction.

Focusing on the self rather than the team

The natural human first instinct is to focus on oneself rather than others. It involves taking stock of the contributions and achievements of people around you.

Leaders who successfully focus on their team rather than their interests take a huge step toward healthy business dynamics.

Failure to encourage the team members

The best leaders are the ones who care about their team members. An important part of this culture is team engagement.

Among the various qualities of a bad leader, this one is easy to fix. It is equally important to recognize individuals who work hard and are willing to succeed.

Claiming the ideas of others as your own

This may not sound like it is intentional, but claiming the ideas of others as your own is a sign of bad leadership.

The role of a manager is not to come up with ideas for success and growth; it is to facilitate a team of workers who come up with ideas.

So, when an idea originates with a manager or a worker, the real focus has to be on the idea itself.

Failure to listen to critiques

No individual is perfect, and by extension, no leader is either. Even the best leaders make mistakes and encounter failure at some point.

Of course, every problem cannot be fixed, and it would require some tolerance. For these reasons, failure to listen to others is a quality of a bad leader.

Working constantly and not resting

If you do not work, you will not eat. Some people take this phrase to the extreme and never stop working.

But the physical and mental toll is detrimental to a leader. People cannot go forever, so when the crash comes, it can be complete burnout, which may be a concern for an organization.

Rejecting any perspectives that do not align with your own

The tendency to reject perspectives that do not match your own is a common phenomenon. The problem is that most people do not realize what they are doing.

Just because it is one of the common traits of a bad leader, it does not apply to all leaders. So, where it exists, it is better to root it out at the earliest.

Failing to grow

Leadership is not a static role. It is not possible to lead if you do not have a role in understanding things properly.

We know that people are not perfect leaders who can always find something to improve upon, and if anyone has to say something, they are fooling themselves.

Expecting others to do things that they are not willing to do

It would not be reasonable for leaders to expect others to do things they are not expected to do on their own.

Companies are precise in relation to this idea as the teams have different people with varied skills. However, leaders should never ask anyone to do anything they will not do themselves.

Failure to develop a healthy work culture

People are inclined to work for those who are willing to put in their time, effort, and goals. The managers are responsible for facilitating a healthy work environment, mentally and physically. Failing to do so is showcased as one of the worst qualities of a bad leader.

So, both at an organizational and a team level, the leaders aim to implement healthy corporate values.

Constantly jumping from one strategy to another strategy

Most managers are aware that they will encounter failed strategies. Sometimes the ideas are not going to work for one reason or another.

The best course of action in such cases would be to switch gears. But, leaders must be careful when they abandon a plan before it is time to breathe.

Ignoring the importance of tone

It is not about the matter that you have to say, but the manner of saying it is important. This is a quality that leaders need to be mindful of.

You may have the best of intentions but still come off as a jerk. The tone has an important role to play when it comes to the interaction between the employees and the managers.

Playing loosely with ethics.

This is a fact that should be obvious. But it merits a special remark, judging by the names of the leaders who have succumbed to this tendency.

When leaders take a shortcut to success, they risk professional and legal consequences. Good managers need to care about their followers and not ask anyone to do illegal things.

Not willing to change

It is better to put this characteristic last since it is the one that everything hinges on. If any of the above qualities apply to you, it means that you are not willing to change.

Good leaders should be able to acknowledge their faults and learn to grow from them. A simple leader will not have all the answers.


The consequences of bad leadership can be detrimental to your company.

It can damage morale and lead to a lower turnover that would lead to higher costs for replacing them and demotivates the team members who stay in an organization.

The bottom line is that you cannot afford bad managers.


What are the signs that point to bad leadership?

Some of the common signs of bad leadership are failing to own up to mistakes, a lack of passive-aggressive communication, creating a suffocating work environment, and not listening to the concerns of others.

What are the reasons why bad leaders are promoted?

Employees are promoted based on the success levels they have achieved in their current job roles.
This is until they are no longer competent, as the skills in a particular job do not translate into another.
For this reason, we may end up with many incompetent managers at the top.

Can we learn from bad leaders?

You can learn from any leader with whom you come into contact. Dealing with an aggressive boss could present numerous opportunities to develop your leadership skills.

Why do people like to stay with bad leaders?

A bad leader is a magnet who attracts others as they feel connected to an authoritative person.

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