Harry Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Ronald Reagan echoed that sentiment. JFK famously said, “…ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Taking credit, even when legitimately earned, doesn’t sit well with others. People often take it as pompous, even narcissistic. That’s because it simply comes across that way, even if you don’t mean it at all. That’s why two simple words can give you a glimpse into someone else’s leadership style.
Language Reveals a Lot about Personality
The two words that serve as warning signs of bad leadership are merely pronouns — “me” and “I.” Someone who repeatedly uses “me” and “I” are subtly (perhaps overtly) expressing their worldview. That’s right, he or she is the center around which everything revolves.
Leadership is one of the most important factors determining the success of a company. Poor leadership can seriously affect employee morale and even cause the company’s bottom line to plunge. Bad leadership leads to poor employee retention and demotivates the remaining employees, causing them to be much less productive than they would otherwise be. —Houston Chronicle Small Business
Okay, that’s cliche, but it exposes a hard truth. We don’t like to think of ourselves as selfish, so we also don’t like to apply that label to others. Though, when the behavior is egregious, it not only seems appropriate to think of as an undesirable quality, but almost a necessity to call out.
3 Devastatingly Poor Leadership Traits
While there are certainly numerous bad leadership attributes, three are among the absolute worst. They undermine the very role of a leader. So, doing any one of them (or more) will only be counterproductive. Here three hurtful leadership characteristics to avoid all the time:
- Micromanaging. Unsurprisingly, this makes the top of the list. Micromanagers are among the most despised people because their behavior is completely counterproductive. Insisting on control of everything means there’s really no need for anyone else. It’s so hated, this trait ranks among the highest in dissatisfaction among people in survey after survey. It shows you have no confidence in anyone else. Plus, it proclaims you’re the only competent person in the workplace.
- Not recognizing others. This isn’t much different from micromanaging because it stirs up just about as much resentment. It shows a lack of care and regard for others. It also says that you have little respect for the work others work so hard to produce. If you aren’t encouraging others through recognition, you’re insulting them in more than one way.
- Failing to share information. When you aren’t transparent and open about what’s going on or what’s expected, you’re effectively sabotaging anyone without that information. “To be unclear is to be unkind” the saying goes. It speaks volumes because keeping too much too close to the vest shows a real lack of trust. Without trust, there’s no way to have a working relationship.
What other signs tip you off to a bad leader? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting! Others can greatly benefit from what you have to contribute.
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