7 Traits of Poor Leadership
In a recent graduate class on C-Suite Leadership, we read and discussed an article by best-selling author and professor Barbara Kellerman titled, “Bad Leadership and Ways to Avoid It.” To say the topic engendered spirited discourse is an understatement.
An open question was whether any of these seven traits (behavioral, not necessarily personality) were evident in the bosses, supervisors, and managers students have had in the past and if so, what were the behaviors in evidence that helped them form this conclusion? And if they experienced more than one “bad leader,” was one “less bad” than another?
Here's the list:
- Incompetent: Lacking the ability or the will
- Rigid: Unwilling or unable to adapt to changing circumstances
- Intemperate: Lacking self-control
- Callous: Uncaring and lacking basic empathy for others
- Corrupt: Lacking honesty and integrity
- Insular: Short-sighted and inward looking
- Evil: Derive satisfaction by hurting others
When helping organizations develop and execute their strategic plans, we often begin with an exercise designed to articulate the mission, purpose, vision and values of the enterprise. When discussing values, we place a special emphasis on the observable behavioral traits that support and oppose those values (we get quite specific here). The aim is to get a clear picture of values in action and to establish firm boundaries and non-negotiable standards of behavior.
The impact of “bad leadership” can be found at all levels, including supervisors, managers, department heads and, of course, senior leadership. And because team members measure organizational culture in large part by how they are treated by their immediate supervisor, instilling leadership capability at all levels of the organization deserves to be a corporate imperative.
How does your organization shape up and what is your improvement plan?
For more information, contact me at email@example.com
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.