Leadership for Life – Bad Leaders

By on February 3, 2014
Bad Leaders

Our Leadership experts will be sharing tips and insights for everyone, at any station in life, at both home and work. Leadership for Life – the skills you embrace represent who you really are at all times.

Several weeks ago I came across an article that summarized some research conducted by Robert & Joyce Hogan and Rob Kaiser in 2010. What they were looking at were the elements of good and bad leadership, as well as the benefits and costs associated with each. Some of their remarkable findings included the assertion that improvements in leadership were equivalent to increases in capital investment and additional employees.

They also asserted that there were clear criteria for leadership effectiveness – not in theory, but in down to earth practice. Based on a survey of employees, they found that leaders who were described as “bad” were likely to have these characteristics:

  • Arrogant
  • Manipulative
  • Emotionally volatile
  • Micromanaging
  • Passive-aggressive
  • Distrustful of others

Sound familiar? If you’ve been paying attention over the past couple of years, you’ll recall that I’ve covered many of these issues in my blog and podcasts. Improving leadership behavior includes paying close attention to what have been (sometimes) disparagingly called “soft skills.” I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing soft about them, and that they’re crucial to leadership effectiveness.

Is your organization concerned with leadership? If not, it should be. Nearly a hundred years of research into what makes a good leader still boils down to:

  • Trust
  • Communication/listening
  • Respect
  • Knowledge/skill
  • Confidence
  • Clear vision

Some of you may quibble with the specifics, and may want to add or subtract some characteristics, but the bottom line is that good leaders not only know their business, they know and respect their people.

Soft skills, anyone? Call me at 314-539-5329 or write to bschapiro@stlcc.edu.

About Barry Schapiro

Barry is the Workforce Solutions Group Practice Leader for Leadership and Professional Development. His experience includes delivery and management of business training in a variety of industries, with specialties in leadership, team development, generational diversity, and customer service. Twitter

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