Epic Fails Bad Leaders Do
Meet villains on your teams.
Like Penguin in Batman Returns, there are shady leaders with villain masterminds.
They are skilled at promoting themselves and weaponized with arguments to prove they are right, and you are wrong.
You do not want to work with them. But you have to make it work.
Take this opportunity and learn from their mistakes.
And most importantly, don’t be one of them.
1. Bad leaders hear but don’t listen
You sit down for your weekly catch-up and discuss your projects. Your team leader is looking out the window. “Good.” “OK.” He’s nodding. "Yes, but let’s talk about it another time.” “See you next week.” He leaves the meeting.
If there is one epic fail poor leaders do, it is that they don’t listen.
If you fail to listen, your team will not take you seriously. How annoying is it when you talk and others do not pay attention?
It is frustrating, disappointing, disrespectful, and sad.
Do you listen to others? Do you try to understand them? Communication is a two-way problem. Stop complaining if you do not listen.
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. — Bryant H. McGill
Be better and listen.
2. Bad leaders have bad excuses
Have you ever felt that your manager bad excuses? I bet you did.
“Sorry, but your promotion can’t be processed now. We are waiting for approval from the global team.”
“Sorry, you have to work although you are ill as I don’t have anyone else to cover your work.”
“Sorry, I know it’s already October, and we promised to let you know by the end of the month if your contract is renewed, but we still don’t know.”
Bad leaders are villains. They are never completely honest nor interested in doing good for you. Some prefer to blame others to avoid responsibility.
Before you say rubbish, imagine someone saying that to you. Um?
Be true to yourself. It is better to say things as they are. Don’t color the world pink. If you don’t know, well you don’t know. As simple as that. The only bad news is bad leadership.
3. Bad leaders don't act on time
Successful leaders do things right. They can predict and plan. While villains always miss the bus. They are too busy all the time. Having a pile of tasks. They drown as they miss the energy to function.
Bad leaders are always surprised when potential risk becomes true.
It shows one thing — they don’t understand the business and don’t plan well enough. They follow the flow and deal with problems as they arise. A leadership style like this does not prevent problems. They let them happen.
How annoying is that? You see the storm coming, but you don’t take an umbrella. You are paralyzed by clouds. Stupid!
Be smarter than your leader. Create scenarios and be one step ahead. Write a list of priorities and work on three things every day. Don’t let people steal your time all the time.
You do not have to chase your goals if you have a constant speed.
The future calls for ready people. Are you?
4. Bad leaders are not loyal
I had a manager who liked to talk about people behind their backs. Imagine this. We were at an evening dinner, and he talked about a colleague who could not attend. He made fun of her mistakes and lack of knowledge. It made me feel guilty.
Regardless of your position, show respect.
Bad leaders are not loyal to the management group or to their teams. They think people are stupid.
Give respect and get respect. Not everyone will be your cup of tea, but still, as Sir Elton Joan says, give them a break.
I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. But sometimes criticism can be hurtful. Be respectful. I’m a good piano player. I can sing well. I write good songs. If you don’t like it, fair enough. But give me a break. — Elton John
Authentic leaders support diversity and differences. The world would be boring if everyone was the same. If Penguin in Batman Returns decided to be a hero for diversity, he could bring good to Gotham.
What can you bring to your team?
5. Bad leaders have no vision
You listen to your leader’s presentation of year-end goals. They are not aspiring. What is most troubling is they are unclear. Where should we expand? What budgets do you need?
You need direction. How else are you supposed to work? No purpose = no motivation.
Bad leaders tend to forget that people work not only because of money but because they have interests and want to be part of something bigger. For that, you need a clear vision.
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. — Warren Bennis
Knowing what and how is critical before work starts. Inspire first, execute later. Many visions are abstract. Stop pretending you know when you don’t. Align yourself with people before making decisions.
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Last epic thought
It is annoying to work with terrible leaders. But take advantage of this opportunity, and learn from it as well. Less frustration = more fun.
What can you do better?
How would you deal with such a situation?
What kind of leader do you aspire to be?
It is always easier to judge than to be in the same position.
So, even when you work with a bad leader, be empathetic and try to see the other side of the coin.
You will become a better leader if you believe in yourself and other people.
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