How do you write about something that's so prevalent these days...Horrible Leaders? A Google search for Horrible Leaders yields more than 33 million results!
To begin with, let’s be clear…there is a difference between leadership and management. As the Wall Street Journal writes “The manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate.”
I decided to address the issue of Horrible Leaders by writing about five things I’ve observed over the years:
Manager Not a Leader – They perform the same tasks in the same way day after day and year after year. They have no vision. They do not inspire. They don't see beyond the day-to-day. Although they don't possess leadership qualities, they are promoted to a leadership role. Very few managers become great and successful leaders.
The Peter Principle – As defined by Wikipedia: “This is a concept in which the selection of a candidate for a position is based on their performance in their current role rather than on their abilities relevant to the intended role. People will be promoted until they reach their ‘position of incompetence.’" Most of us has seen this firsthand.
“There is No One Else” – How many times have we heard this? They're the only member of the Board willing to serve as chairperson or president. They are the best candidate for the job based on the pool of applicants. Expand your search. Don’t settle. Organizations have been destroyed because they settled.
Longevity – They are selected because they’ve been around for years. Longevity is not a measure of success.
Stays “Under the Radar” – Employees are promoted to leadership roles because they have never stirred things up. Does anyone really believe someone who goes undetected or goes unnoticed will be a good leader? Leaders take chances in order to improve the organization and to move it in a direction likely to ensure success.
The late management guru Peter Drucker wrote. “The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.”
If good leadership is a solution to problems, then we must look at Horrible Leaders and the results of horrible leadership.
Conversely, here are some articles on good leaders and good bosses:
17 Things Really Successful Bosses Always Do
6 Things Effective Leaders Always Say
10 Things Successful People Never Do Again