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Whether it’s Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates, these people are known for driving their companies’ growth through strong leadership. A good leader can take a failing business and turn it around, while a bad leader, on the other hand, can bankrupt even the most successful company. Leadership is essential to the growth and success of any business, but what happens when that leadership fails? What are the symptoms? How can you tell if your business is being run by a failed leader? Here are six signs of failed leadership to watch out for:
1. Selfish leadership style
Selfish leadership focuses on the leader and not the team. Their efforts, ideas and goals are always inclined towards self-improvement. From their perspective, it’s about what they can do to look good. It’s about feeding your ego. They disguise their concern for themselves as “seeking the best interests of the company.” But in truth, the opinion of the team does not matter to them. They make all decisions without input from others, take all the credit for successes, and worse, blame their team for any failures. For them, having the authority as a leader gives them the right to be right all the time. As a result, this type of leadership creates a toxic work environment where creativity and innovation are stifled.
Related: 5 Ways Bad Leadership Can Destroy Your Business
2. Resistant to change
When a company is under the leadership of a bad leader, growth and change are always met with resistance. New ideas are shot down and any suggestions for change are always met with negativity. This resistance stems from your unwillingness to step out of your comfort zone. They believe that “if it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix it.” They see growth as unattainable and are content with the status quo. Their narrow-mindedness prevents them from seeing the potential of new opportunities and prevents them from taking the necessary risks. As a result, the company becomes stagnant and unable to adapt and compete in an ever-changing market.
3. Unable to lead himself
A bad leader always seems to have the best image, but most of the time it’s just words and no action. They are empty shells of what a leader should be. They are always quick to give orders and make decisions, but when it comes to getting the job done, they are nowhere to be found. They are unable to lead themselves, let alone a team. This is because they lack the discipline, focus and drive to see things through.
Their lack of follow through is a direct reflection of the lightness with which they take their responsibilities. They dedicate themselves to preaching, but they do not see the need to practice what they preach. And much less make it a lifestyle. They hate to commit and always look for the easy way out. They are not committed to their own goals, so why would they be committed to the team’s goals? This inconsistency is evident in both his personal and professional life. As a result, they are not only poor leaders, but also terrible role models.
Related: These 5 Leadership Styles Don’t Work Do any of them describe you?
4. Unable to take criticism
One way to easily spot a bad leader is to give them honest feedback. A bad leader is unable to handle criticism. They see any form of criticism as a personal attack and a challenge to his authority. They cannot accept constructive criticism, because they believe that it makes them appear weak and incompetent. As a result, they surround themselves with “yes men,” people who just give them the validation they seek. They fear honest feedback and build an echo chamber where their ideas are constantly reinforced. In their process of chasing validation, they bury valuable feedback that could reveal the real issues.
“What we reveal, we can heal.” If problems are never revealed, they can never be fixed and the team will remain on a path of no growth, a path where they will simply survive rather than thrive.
5. Failing to act in accordance with your core values
Core values are the foundation of any business. They are our guiding beliefs and dictate how we behave. Behavior is what drives our results. When a leader does not act in accordance with the core values of their company, it greatly affects the results that the company obtains. The most important reason to have core values is to set filters for decision making. But if a leader can’t deliver, it’s only a matter of time before his decisions begin to negatively affect the company.
6. It can’t inspire growth.
A leader must be someone who inspires the growth of others. They must be able to cultivate others to become leaders in their own right. We must not forget that the number one job of a leader is to create a path where the team can grow. If a leader doesn’t understand this, she won’t be able to create a plan and environment for growth. All they can do is keep the company in a state of survival, but never set the right conditions for the team to grow to its full potential.
There can be many factors that can cause a business to fail. But whatever these issues are, it’s always about having poor leadership skills. Leadership is the decisive element of a business. And many times, it is the difference between a successful company and a failed one. To avoid serious repercussions, we must be aware of the symptoms and traits of failed leadership and remember: “There are no business problems, only leadership problems.”
Related: Leading By Example: 7 Ways You Can Set A Bad Example For Your Employees