Updated: May 12, 2022
The difference between good leaders and bad is often their willingness and ability to reflect and improve on past failures.
If you’re a sports fan, you know all too well the lasting harm that can be done to a team from having the wrong coach, manager, GM, or owner at the helm. It can be enough to leave even the most successful franchise in a quagmire for decades.
"We’ve all seen bad leadership situations sour otherwise-prosperous companies or keep promising startups from ever truly taking off. "
If you’re a businessperson, you know the dangers of that situation as well. We’ve all seen bad leadership situations sour otherwise-prosperous companies or keep promising startups from ever truly taking off. You don’t want that to happen to your company, which is why you’ll want to be on the lookout for and, if necessary, root out harmful leadership situations such as these.
Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of the wrong fit. To once again return to the sports fan well, we can all think of coaches and players who were great in one city, signed a big deal to go elsewhere, and saw things devolve into a debacle.
That can happen in the business world, too. Talent doesn’t always translate from one corporate system to another. It’s nobody’s fault.
The key is to know when to pull the plug. Don’t stubbornly cling to a situation for too long simply “hoping” it’ll yield the results you’d imagined.
You’ve also probably heard of cases of locker rooms spiraling into drama and chaos. More seriously, instances of racism and the type of sexism #MeToo is trying to root out have made headlines over the past few years. No amount of talent is worth toxicity. If a leader is displaying, spreading, or creating toxicity, they need to be removed before it spreads.
On the flip side, an unsupported leader is a weak leader.
No matter the field, results take time to achieve. Being impatient with or otherwise prematurely questioning your managers will simply undermine them, destroying their authority and any chance they have to succeed. Before you do anything rash, make sure you take the time to talk with your manager in person if you have any questions or concerns about their leadership style or direction.
Any equation for success includes quality leadership, so take the time to avoid these common pitfalls.