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:

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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