Leaders Who Shouldn’t Be Leaders

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There are leaders out there who shouldn’t be leaders.

The reality is, for every 15 to 20 supervisors there’s usually one or two who aren’t up to the challenge, and they’re holding back their team from achieving more.

The interesting thing is that, given the chance, many of those struggling leaders would gladly go back to being a worker. Of course, it might mean giving up a little bit of compensation, but in their mind, it also reduces quite a bit of stress.

What are the signs that a leader is struggling and might not be a good fit for the role?

One sign is that they don’t seem to care about their job or their team. They’re constantly being negative or indifferent.

Another sign is they don’t support any of the company initiatives. Whether they like them or not, the leader’s role is supposed to support the objectives and direction of the company, and its senior leadership.

The third sign is that they don’t have an interest in improving.

A leader needs to always be looking for an opportunity to gain an edge, to help boost their team's performance, and that means examining their own behavior to identify how to get better. Share on X

What should you do if a leader in your organization fits the three criteria mentioned?

First, have a frank discussion with the person and be specific about the behaviors that need to improve.

Second, ask the person for their perspective. If they’re willing to own up to the need to improve and work hard at it, support them. If not, you’re on your way to replacing them with someone better.

Third, acknowledge progress. If there isn’t any progress, take the next step and demotivate or terminate the leader, so that you can get someone in the role who has a greater commitment to excellence.

What if you have many leaders who don’t care, don’t support the company initiatives, and don’t want to improve?

Then you might need to look in the mirror. Likely their behavior is a reflection of their manager.

Almost all problems at their root are leadership problems, and therefore, nearly all solutions are leadership solutions.

Make sure you’ve got the right people in leadership positions and then develop those leaders continuously.

What’s one way you know that someone is truly cut out for a leadership position?

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