Being a good person does not always automatically equate to being a good leader. Leadership is just not something that’s ingrained in every person.
While it is certainly possible that some people are naturally born with leadership traits, leadership is still a skill that to be used effectively, must be practiced and learned. To be a good leader, one needs to put time and effort to efficiently motivate and manage those around them.
Now the root of almost all leadership problems comes from the fact that most people tend to look at leadership simply as some coveted high-level position, title, or “throne” where you can simply sit and order other people around. But this notion is all wrong.
Leadership is not a title, it’s an opportunity. An opportunity to help turn something greater by maximizing the abilities of every part. It’s about knowing when to pause and think and when to just keep on moving.
Unfortunately, as I have already mentioned, most people who suddenly find themselves in leading positions seem to instantly abuse that power. Haven’t you ever wondered why almost everyone seems to hate their boss? It’s because instead of being productive and effective leaders, these seemingly leader materials turn into tyrants. With bad leaders comes bad subordinates, and so the cycle of bad management starts. Once the time for these subordinates to step up comes, they have already been groomed and accustomed to bad leadership traits that will then make them bad leaders. Thus, perpetuating the cycle of a toxic work environment.
So what should we do? Before putting someone in a position, you must first get a sense of what they would do with newfound power. We came up with the 3 telltale signs if that person is going to be a toxic leader:
- They Expect to Be Understood Instead of Seeking to Understand
There is an olden saying that goes, “Seek first to understand, then you may seek to be understood.” People who practice this mindset tend to be greater leaders. Because they are aware of the value of gathering all the necessary information before coming to a conclusion, they are reinforcing the importance of making others feel heard.
“Being heard” may sound minute in the grand scale of things, but you cannot effectively lead if the members of your team feel ignored or misunderstood. So be wary of colleagues who do not try to understand but seem to always expect to be understood. This kind of double standard is sure to preserve animosity in your team or even workplace.
- They Point the Blame Instead of Being Accountable
If you are in the position wherein you can determine the next person to be promoted, it is important that you carefully keep your eyes and ears open for what people say and do during stressful and successful moments.
You must watch out for those who point the finger instead of analyzing the problem and taking responsibility. That should give you a glimpse into what they would do once given leadership. With so much more power at stake, you can bet that they would wash their hands first when things go sideways.
- They Don’t Really Practice What They Preach
This is possibly the most obvious trait of a bad leader. If someone (is fond of the saying, “Do as I say, not as I do,” then you are in for some really bad headache. You wouldn’t want a singer who knows all the right words but cannot carry a tune, right?
People don’t want leaders to be preachers. They want leaders who are the living, breathing example of what they expect from others. Besides, what truly influences people is not someone’s words, it’s the behavior and energy that comes from them.