Last updated on January 19th, 2023 at 07:48 am
Leadership is great. But it’s not for everyone.
Especially for those who can’t differentiate between Power and Responsibility.
In this post, we discuss some common characteristics of a weak leader as well as signs that you are not a leader even though your role says so.
Leadership is nothing more than leading a team towards the targeted goals successfully.
Remember the word here is a ‘lead’.
Great leaders are more likely to make confident decisions, motivate their teams, and reach ultimate goals together.
But, the most important thing here is, such leaders do contribute to the team efforts, doing anything to make it an effective and successful team.
A weak leader will do the exact opposite.
Such poor leaders take decisions from their side alone, ignore the need for team encouragement or appreciation, weigh expectations on their teams and just wait for the best results.
Leadership comes from knowing how to handle yourself before taking on others in the same manner.
The leader is responsible for leading the team when they are unsure of where to go.
How Do You Know You Are Not A Good Leader?
Even though your job title says you’re a leader, that does not automatically qualify you as one.
Leadership skills never come with a role, it’s a responsibility and not power.
If you ever notice that your team player agrees with you on whatever you say or decide, never shares their ideas and suggestions openly…
Then those are clear signs that you might not be a good leader who gave them enough opportunity to share their views.
Maybe you are not ready to become a leader or fail to understand this role.
Maybe you have a follower mentality or are not able to view things from the team’s perspective.
Well, anything can be possible here.
Although you have a leadership role, you still need to learn more about it.
Read on and you will find some common traits of poor leaders.
Plus, if you find yourself quite relatable with these qualities, then consider yourself as a ‘Boss’, and not a ‘Leader’.
12 Warning Signs of Poor Leadership
1. You have no vision, only a desire.
Seems like you’re still within your own circle.
Even if you’re now in a leadership position, you can’t think from the team’s perspective.
All you think is, this role has to be all about yourself.
From setting goals to having a vision, you keep everything about you.
Rather than realistic goals that are beneficial for the entire team, it’s more about your desires and expectations of yours alone.
If you don’t involve your team in the setting of goals and don’t update them about the logic behind these goals, such are signs that you are not a leader that people see as an inspiration.
2. You are incapable of managing your time and activities.
The role of a leader is to organize available resources in the proper manner to make the most out of them.
But, your organizational skills are not that good enough to manage your activities right.
Your inability to manage priorities and allocate time to useful activities makes your routine schedule a confusing mess.
As well as managing people, you are also having trouble managing your own time.
And if you can’t organize things as they should, your team and people who rely on you also feel confused and stuck all the time.
And that’s what clearly displays signs of poor leadership.
Check other: Signs Your Coworkers Are Intimidated By You
3. You lack self-discipline as a leader.
Leaders are expected to be the most active and responsible for the team.
After all, they are not only accountable for their own task, but the team as a whole.
A lack of balance in your work ethic is a sign that you’re not a serious leader.
When you fail to organize things or over-plan your long-term strategies, it is impossible to focus on even basic tasks.
It is either impossible for you to set priorities or you easily get distracted by unimportant matters.
Leaders are expected to remain focused.
Any lack of commitment to your work and not being fully involved in one task at a time are signs that you are not a leader.
4. You don’t have any control over your emotions.
Team dynamics are directly influenced by your mood and attitude.
People have to check whether it’s appropriate to mention something to you or to ask for permission to leave.
A team that has to make sure whether their leaders are in the right mood, then there are signs that they report to a mean leader.
The easy way to spot the difference between a great leader and a weak leader is about how they treat their team when they are not going through the right time.
Check other: Signs Your Boss’s Job Is In Trouble
5. You lack empathy.
Leaders have to make decisions based on the overall team’s advantages and favors.
They need to think outside the box and from a broader perspective.
A leader is supposed to appreciate their team and also to solicit feedback from the team.
Ultimately, it allows team members to feel fully recognized and appreciated.
An inability to see things from the other’s perspective, or like your team’s side, results in making your people or entire team lost and hopeless.
If you keep making decisions based on your thinking and never accept feedback from the team, and are signs of bad leadership.
6. You are afraid of change or cannot resist it.
Leaders are those who take the initiative and make things happen.
Although they must not necessarily be daring, they must be flexible enough to adjust their plans, perspectives as needed.
Weak leaders expect no change. Neither do they take the initiative nor do they let their employees try anything new.
Probably they’re not confident in themselves and feel insecure about being left behind.
If you resist change in your team and do not give enough room for improvement to your people then such are signs that you are not a leader.
Check other: Signs Your Boss Is Threatened By You
7. You are overly demanding and controlling.
Well, it seems that your people don’t want to follow you truly.
Because your only concern is to give orders and expect a satisfactory result, rather than advising them on how to do things correctly.
You have great goals, but your people are not aware of them.
As you haven’t shared with them, not openly discussed it, and not care to check whether these goals are realistic from your team’s viewpoint or not.
Mostly the bad boss or manager does this, who simply expects more from their employees without providing enough room and direction for them to actually get it.
Whereas, a great leader or boss shares such goals and plans with their team, welcomes feedback, check the possibility, and do the required changes that are suggested by the actual performers.
8. You are micromanaging too much.
Having trust and confidence in team players is the most important trait that a great leader should possess.
There is no point in checking every single work that your team performs.
But, as being perfectionist, you want to make sure that you have control over everything, no matter how small or less important it is.
Well, it not only shows your inability to trust your team but also shows how little you value your time.
Instead of quality assurance, as a leader, you should focus on a long-term plan and something truly worthwhile.
These signs clearly show that you are not a good leader that no one wants to work with.
Check other: Signs You Should Say No To Your Boss
9. You are being bossy and not a leader.
Ask yourself, what is your approach to your team players, do you give them orders or directions.
What do you feel when any of your team players even doubt or suggest a different approach than yours?
Do you at least care to listen or just take it personally and make such employees regret it?
If you think that they have to agree with you just because you’re their CEO, manager, or superior and due to such a dominating approach, ‘Boss’ is a more appropriate title than a leader.
Because leaders listen to their followers, involve them in the decision-making.
A great leader has to make the right choice that is acceptable for the entire team.
If you hold control of everything, avoid giving them any enough freedom or comfort to take work decisions and such are signs you are not a leader, but a boss for them.
10. You only focus on the negative aspects.
Great leaders never fail to appreciate their team’s efforts.
They bring their team ahead and encourage them publicly, which makes it possible to achieve such great goals.
The kind of leader that every team would want to follow.
Whereas some bad leaders are more into taking credit than giving the required contributions and direction to their team.
You find them standing in the front line when their team is giving exceptional performance.
But when things do not go as planned and in the right direction, they blame others and never behave responsibly as a team leader should.
These are clear signs of poor leadership when you criticize any mistakes made by the team and don’t give adequate credit for their excellent performance.
Overall, this leaves the team unmotivated and feeling unappreciated.
Check other: Signs You Will Be Replaced At Work
11. You think about yourself and not anyone else.
Well, this one is quite frustrating to the team that has such a self-centered leader to report to.
A leader like this makes sure that everything that happens in the team revolves around them.
Regardless of whether it’s about them or not, they always want to control everything.
Because they are too much for themselves and have no care and respect for the team’s personal choices.
If you think that your team has to feel grateful for you because you give them a salary and a job, then it is a sign you don’t deserve to be a leader.
Great leaders firmly believe that they are successful because of their team.
12. You lack a balance between work and life.
Dedication and overworking are two different things.
A great leader follows dedication but they also have a life out of the work, which is equally important, too.
But, most weak leaders have a complete imbalance between work and life. It seems that they do not have a life outside of work and the office.
If you’re that Workaholic leader, then you end up being hard on your employees as well.
For you, work and company targets are much more important than spending time with a team and making some personal connections.
Both you and your teammates don’t know a lot about each other.
Because your connections are highly intentional and nothing more.
While a good leader takes care of their employees as a team player as well as a valuable connection out of the company.
Check other: Signs You’re Not A Team Player
Be a leader, not just a boss or manager.
Well, you can have a great track record and great performance as a leader.
But if you fail to fulfill your responsibility as one member of your team, you can consider yourself a weak leader.
If you want your team to appreciate you and actually feel grateful for having you as a leader then make sure you give them credit and appreciation for the work they did.
Well, Leaders are not the ones who never fail. But, they are the ones who know what to do when they’re failing.
If you found yourself more connected with the discussed signs then you are not a leader that any team wants to work with.
To become a great leader there, you really don’t need to do anything extraordinary.
Put your personal desires aside and start thinking about your team’s needs and wants.
Be ready to change your perspective from one of yourself to one of the team. Plus, develop some good habits like thanking your team for the work they do for you.
With a strong belief in universal signs and positivity, Ketan P. started ‘Signs You Are‘ to shed light on the daily signals we miss. Every article on this site reflects his experiences, learning, and reflections over the years.