Good leaders inspire their subordinates and drive them to work towards a common goal. When they fail to do so, it affects the motivation of the team and the overall performance of the organisation, which is why the saying goes, “There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.”
How does one, then, set a yardstick for measuring the goodness or suitability of a leader? What are the parameters on which a leader should be judged? Read on to know the traits which distinguish a bad leader from a good one.
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A person is appointed a leader so that he can direct a team of subordinates towards achieving certain pre-decided goals. He should be able to design a roadmap for the future and plan how each individual will contribute in following it. Failure to do so indicates the leader’s lack of vision and far-sightedness, thus making him responsible for poor performance and decreased growth of not just his team but also the organisation as a whole.
A good leader is one who mentors his subordinates and helps them grow both personally and professionally. He devotes individual attention to them and supports them when they face challenges in their work. He also listens to them when they require guidance and motivates them to perform better. A bad leader lags behind in these qualities and, as a result, is unable to keep his team together.
A bad leader is one who practices favouritism amongst his team members and exhibits biased behaviour towards select people. He uses his team’s time and effort to fulfil personal agendas. Such behaviour attracts contempt and disrespect from team members, leaves them demotivated and leads to a decline in productivity levels.
A good leader encourages his team members and acknowledges the efforts of his subordinates. He places the interest of the team before his own and strives to achieve the best results for the larger good of the organisation. He shares his experiences, knowledge, understanding and feedback with the team and empowers them to grow professionally. Bad leaders lack such virtuous behaviour and often make their subordinates feel frustrated with their jobs.
A leader is required to make decisions every day using his experience and judgement – be it about day-to-day operations or even in the toughest of situations. A good leader is inclusive and typically consults his team members before arriving at any final decision. On the other hand, bad leadership skills are evident when someone hastily makes a decision by himself without taking into account the opinions of his subordinates.
In a competitive business environment, one must constantly strive to improve one’s knowledge and upgrade their skill set to be able to achieve better results. It becomes vital for every leader to keep up with the changing dynamics of the industry so that he is able to guide his team members better. If leaders are not taking necessary actions to upgrade their skills, they are not only jeopardising their own future but also the future of their subordinates and the organisation.
Bad leaders are one of the main factors which drive away good talent from an organisation. Appropriate training programmes for such leaders can help change the above traits and transform them into better leaders.