We all want to work for someone who makes us feel valued for the work we do. Some leaders will always be better than others. But if your boss is less than stellar, how can you tell if you are working for the wrong kind of leader? Here are some warning signs that you should pay attention to:
Your leader lacks vision. It’s hard to build success when a leader lacks vision. How are you supposed to follow someone who doesn’t know where they are going? Good leaders create a compelling vision that people can follow.
Your leader cannot make decisions. The ideal leader, the one everyone wants to work for, is a strong decision maker who keeps problems at a minimum. When a leader lacks the ability to make decisions, the results are extremely frustrating for everyone. A leader who refuses to make a choice has already made a wrong choice by allowing their indecision to rule.
Your leader is constantly micromanaging. Leaders who micromanage often have trouble letting go of their own self-doubt and insecurities, and as a result have a strong need to feel in control. But no one likes a leader who micromanages; when you feel that every move you make is being monitored or questioned, it’s hard to get excited about your work. Micromanagement is extremely disempowering.
Your leader is a know-it-all. Leaders who profess to know everything are usually the ones who lack any real knowledge or wisdom and make it difficult for others to share their own thoughts and ideas. It’s never enjoyable to be led by someone whose ego stands in the way of anyone’s success but their own.
Your leader is dishonest. Dishonesty is the surest and fastest way to lose trust, and once it’s lost it may never be regained. Dishonest leaders often have hidden agendas and come across as too political at best, devious and inauthentic at worst. It becomes (understandably) hard to trust anything they say or do.
Your leader is a horrible listener. Poor listeners are bound to be inconsistent leaders. When people are literally not being heard, they can’t feel their voice matters. Eventually they just stop speaking. Leaders who don’t take the time to listen to their employees miss opportunities that are right in front of them.
Your leader doesn’t practice what they preach. When leaders say one thing and do another, they signal a lack of respect and trust to their team—which in turn makes it difficult for employees to respect, trust or value their leader. The result is a uneasy feeling that tells you you’re working for the wrong person.
Your leader lacks reliability. If you cannot count on your leader, who can you count on? Responsibility is an undervalued leadership trait, one that leaders must develop if they want to earn respect and trust. Employees expect their leaders to have the discipline, structure and mindfulness to deliver great and consistent leadership in everything they do.
Your leader is always negative. Leaders who lack enthusiasm and positivity can deflate an entire organization. Often negative leaders have a hard time seeing past their own troubles to their team’s strengths and opportunities, resulting in even more negativity.
Your leader is never grateful. Any leader who doesn’t appreciate or acknowledge their team’s hard work and contributions is missing out on an important opportunity to make people feel valued. It surprises me how many leaders don’t take the time express appreciation—as if they expect you to do your job without any encouragement. No one wants to feel taken for granted.
Lead from within: Working for the wrong leader has many warning signs. Are you paying attention? And what are you going to do about it?
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.