3 Hidden Poor-Leadership Behaviors and How to Fix Them

Leadership is the glue that holds everything else in a business together. It drives new ideas and gives the company a vision. It helps employees perform to their fullest potential. It provides strength during the hard times.

In short, the difference between a successful company and a failing one can often be chalked up to whether or not their leaders were effective. Bad leadership can erode any other advantages a business may have.

"Bad leadership can erode any other advantages a business may have."

When we think of examples of bad leadership, we often think of the most obvious signs first: Yelling, disrespectful language, an unwillingness to help. All of these behaviors are highly noticeable and have a clear negative impact on the team. But when we go beyond the classic signs, there are other instances of poor leadership that aren't readily apparent. These behaviors don't manifest themselves openly, and yet they still hold the team back.
Here are three poor leadership behaviors that often fly under-the-radar you should look out for and fix as soon as possible.

1. An isolated leader is bad for everyone - including the leader

While leaders should certainly avoid being overly friendly with their team, they cannot completely cut themselves off from the rest of the workplace. An isolated leader allows the team to lose familiarity with him or her, and leaves them feeling as though they cannot approach their manager with concerns or questions for fear of being a bother, as CareerBuilder pointed out on its blog.

On the other hand, loneliness is a major problem for those in management. A 2012 study found that nearly 70 percent of first-time CEOs experience loneliness, which negatively impacts their performance, Forbes reported. Someone doesn't have to be a CEO, however, to feel lonely in his or her position

How to fix it: Make sure all managers have a chance to walk around and get to know the team. Give them a chance to hear everyone's voice and gather their opinions on how a project is going. It may even be worth scheduling a meeting once a month or so, just to keep a steady flow of interaction happening.

Managers that find themselves feeling isolated should take the time to get out of the corner office and catch up with their teams.


2. "Leading by example" is not the same as doing the employees' work for them

A common leadership style is to "lead by example," but as Time explained, many leaders don't do this properly. Everyone respects a leader who is willing to get in the trenches sometimes, but if a manager is constantly doing the work that he or she should have been delegating, it creates a host of problems for everyone.

For one, the team feels as though they can't be trusted to do their own jobs when their manager comes over and does their tasks for them. Even worse, a leader who is always doing the on-the-ground work has very little time to be a leader.

How to fix it: It's not a problem for a leader to jump into the fray alongside his or her employees every now and then, but it's poor leadership to make a habit out of it. Make sure all managers are delegating tasks effectively and empowering the workers to operate as they see fit.

3. Don't be afraid to admit mistakes

People in leadership roles are often terrified of making a mistake. A slip-up can have a negative trickle-down effect on the entire team, with no one but the manager to blame. For this reason, it's fairly easy to see why so many bosses try to shift the blame for a mistake onto someone else.

How to fix it: Managers who can admit their mistakes tend to be more trusted, which will increase the comfort level of the rest of the group when they have to report a mistake on their end. Make sure that a manager who commits an error knows that he or she isn't going to be punished if they come forth and apologize.