We can all think of many not-so-great leaders we have had in our lives. The great ones seem fewer and far between, but the list for bad leaders seems endless.
I believe that the worst trait in a leader is laziness. Someone who is not willing to do one additional thing and expects everyone around them to take care of everything. The leader who is not willing to inconvenience themselves, in any capacity, because they are the leader.
This type of person tends to only care about what those above them think of them in an organization, rather than the ones they lead. They talk a big game; they brag about how wonderful their team is and how great they are at leading, but they are only great because the people who work for them are great.
This type of person is always reminding you of their title, as if you have forgotten because in fact, they are desperately trying to ensure that their status as leader is never questioned. Always be wary of individuals who are constantly letting you know their title; their title is much more an honorary title than an earned title, if they feel the need to do this and question them, question them often.
If you are so focused on your position in your workplace, ask yourself why.
Why are you so fixated on your title? What does it provide you? What are you not providing to others, that you feel the need to constantly remind them about your rank?
Leaders who are always skirting work because they feel entitled are exhausting, but do not let their laziness exhaust you.
Learn to understand that this person is probably dealing with the struggle of not enjoying their job or their life. This person is unhappy with who they are and what they are doing, so they compensate for this unhappiness by hiding behind their title and doing even less. They have probably gotten to where they are by luck or on the backs of hard workers, so they are always scared that their cover will be blown.
Do not waste anger on this type of leader; rise above it, but still do the best job possible, in your role.
Do not do their job for them either; push back and make sure you are setting your boundaries. Refer back to your job fact sheet or your daily responsibilities and make sure to assert your strength because this type of leader is a bully. They will muscle you into doing their work and take ownership for it, if you let them, so do not go down without a fight.
I sometimes see people in amazing roles and wonder why they are not willing to break a sweat. I do not envy them, their salary or their status because it is a farce. They might have the exterior of a successful person, but they do not have the integrity of a true leader.
I listen much more to what a team says about their leader than what said leader’s boss says about them.
Bullshitting and ass kissing can get you to the top, but I wonder what that individual feels about themselves, day in and day out, after all the hot air has been exhausted. A true leader does not need to pamper their superiors; their work speaks for themselves, if they are true to their ethics.
You know when you are not pulling your weight at work.
This is not about having a bad day, week, month or year, it is about not caring about the person next to you. Absolve the titles, minimize your ego and do not expect others to work harder than you. If you do, you probably should not be a leader because your example is what people see, not what you say.
A true leader does not have ego.
A true leader does not shy away from the work. A true leader has empathy, compassion and energy for those around them. A true leader sees themselves as part of their team, rather than above their team.
Do your role and you will no longer need to explain your role.