All right, this is a loaded question. There is a continuum of skills and behaviors that affect one’s ability to lead. And yet, people can often spot a ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ leader. What are some of the key differences they are seeing that leads them to this conclusion?

Here are a few, in a nutshell.

A good leader typically has:

A Clear Vision They hold this vision tight in building and executing plans to grow the business, and inspire others to do the same.

Others in Mind First They are more focused on helping the business and helping others succeed than they are focused on themselves. They listen to others and share in decision making.

Genuineness People know they say what they mean and they mean what they say. There is no guessing where they are ‘coming from’ because they are authentic in how they carry themselves and how they communicate.

Humility They know what they know, but also know what they don’t know, and are fine to admit it. They empower their employees and are open to feedback.

High Emotional Intelligence They can recognize their own emotions as well as those of others, which allows them to build meaningful relationships and behave and think appropriately in different situations.

Self-Investment They care for themselves through good health habits and continue to develop and grow their skills, building on their strengths and developing in new areas.

A bad leader typically has:

A Sense of Omnipotence Only their careers matter. Only their ideas are important. Only their time is valuable. Only they deserve respect.

Destructive Behaviors Browbeating, yelling, threatening, and even micromanaging can disempower staff and build a culture of fear.

Negativity A ‘woe is me’ or ‘woe is the business’ attitude will do nothing to create hope and purpose. Nor will a ‘win-lose’ vs. ‘win-win’ attitude.

Inconsistency If a leader is a Jekyl one day and a Hyde the next, relationships will be tense since you don’t know if it’s a ‘good day’ or not. Likewise, inconsistency can mean they don’t follow through on decisions – their actions are inconsistent with what they said, and they may operate off ‘hidden agendas.’

Intolerance Leaders who don’t recognize and appreciate different styles, perspectives, backgrounds, and cultures foster a climate of ‘if you’re not like me, you won’t be successful.’

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