Due to the talent tsunami, experts warn 20-50 percent of employees are looking for new jobs or are planning to quit once the pandemic is behind us. To attract top talent, you must have leaders that are considered good leaders. Now is the time to make a positive difference.
A bad leader is someone who fails to work with and through others to keep customers happy and satisfied while building successful teams.
When the oldest sibling was promoted to President of the family business, everyone expressed concern. She was insecure and relied only on her favorite people when making decisions. As a result, after losing several key customers, the family fired her.
In another company, a leader wasn’t a strong boss, but did make good decisions and cared about the customers. But a disgruntled employee scrutinized and gossiped about him to the point where he was considered a bad leader and felt forced to leave.
7 Signs of Poor Leadership
This list is endless…what are your key indicators of a bad leader?
- Loses focus on the goal by getting lost in the “weeds”
- Lacks empathy
- Stifles creativity and new ideas
- Is unable to motivate the team to achieve intended results
- Is indecisive
- Is unable to talk straight
- Plays favorites when assigning work
Too often, we wait until we’ve lost good customers or top talent before getting the leader the help and guidance needed for success.
7 Tips to Improve Leadership Results Now Before It’s Too Late
- Provide Executive Coaching. Many bad leaders are overwhelmed by the challenges they face. The right executive coach guides these leaders to improve communication, navigate politics, and manage sticky situations. Hire an executive coach from outside the company to ensure confidentiality. If the person isn’t coachable, it’s time to create an exit plan or job reassignment.
- Use qualified assessments. Use a qualified 360-degree feedback assessment and a job fit assessment. These provide objective insights and guidance based on consistent real data.
- Design a performance plan. It’s important to require bad leaders to participate in workshops. This helps them to acknowledge what they don’t know that they don’t know. Focus on one specific area at a time and team them with an internal company mentor (in addition to the outside executive coach). Courses must include addressing leadership blind spots (e.g., emotional intelligence, working with and through others, diversity, ethics, critical thinking, to name a few).
- Analyze the cost. Too often, we overlook bad leadership because we don’t see or understand the impact. When conducting a cost analysis, review turnover of top talent and customers, quality issues, and complaints. NOTE: If there are little or no problems, look deeper. The leader may be the scapegoat to distract from the real issue.
- Talk with disgruntled team members. Don’t be surprised if the bad leader’s problem is due to the inability to handle group think, cliques, and subjective expectations. Have the executive coach work with the team and the leader to get everyone on the same page. Remember, change is a process, not an event. And, no leader is perfect.
- Some bad leaders are good individual contributors as long as they don’t have people management responsibilities. Also, look for a special project or new opportunity that can use the leader’s good skills. NOTE: When making a transfer, the new position may have a new job title. But it’s best to avoid adjusting the paycheck or it could trigger a dissatisfied leader with an axe to grind.
- When All Else Fails Let the Bad Leader Go. Be sure you work with HR and/or an attorney to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. If you don’t, this can be very costly, especially if you’ve allowed it to go on for too long.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.
A note from Jeannette about turning around bad leaders. Turning bad leaders around is one of my primary strengths. As an executive coach, I’ve worked with many poor leaders to transform them, or help them move on. When a bad leader needs help, the best solution is to do the right things now. If a team views their leader as needing help, don’t wait! Otherwise, s/he may need to leave the company! Remember, a bad leader cannot transform into a good one on his/her own! Contact me for a confidential conversation.