Bad Leadership Qualities that All Leaders Need to Stop Doing

Bad Leadership Qualities

Leadership isn’t something you master by reading a book. It takes years of experience and feedback and self-reflection to get there. Effective leaders never stop improving themselves or their leadership styles. If you are looking for your next step of improvement as a leader, here are the bad leadership qualities you want to avoid.

Offering only negative feedback

Constructive criticism is an important part of growth for your employees, but don’t forget to acknowledge their accomplishments and what they do correctly. It helps them know what to do just as much as the criticism helps them know what not to do. Positive feedback increases motivation, commitment, and work quality.

Waiting to give feedback

Employees should receive feedback often. Not only does it make them better employees, but it also increases their quality of work for you. Don’t wait until the performance review to give all of your feedback. Offer it throughout the year so that your employees can improve throughout the year continuously.


The best and most effective leaders take responsibility for their team’s failures. Know how to accept the failure and search for solutions and next steps, rather than any one individual at fault. Accepting responsibility holds you accountable for your leadership strategies and allows you to overcome the situation more quickly.

Treating employees like subordinates

As the leader, you hold more power than your employees, but learn to work with your employees, rather than above them. After all, you are all after the same goal– at least, you should be. This creates unity among the team, which ultimately produces better results.

Failing to listen to your employees

Your employees can offer new perspectives. Listen to their questions, comments, and concerns. Because you work with them, they deserve to have your attention and consideration, just as they give you theirs. When you do, you build loyalty among your team.

Making it all about yourself

You are working on a team with other individuals, so don’t forget to have the team’s best interest in mind, not yours. During decisions and meetings, put the team first, focusing on which moves will move your team closer to the shared goal.

Poorly running meetings

Meeting time is invaluable, so don’t waste it. Make an agenda with set times for each topic. Start and end on time. Hold respectful discussions. Focus on the task at hand. Meetings provide the unique opportunity of talking to your whole team at once, so effective meetings are undoubtedly vital to the success of the team.

Keeping secrets

You owe it to your team and employees to share vital business information with them. Withholding information to have an advantage over the people you work with creates distrust in the office. Your employees know when you are not being transparent. Even if the information is negative, when you tell your employees and team, you can come together to find solutions, and your employees will appreciate your honesty.

Losing sleep

Leaders bear much of the work load in organizations, companies, and teams, but that doesn’t mean you need to work 24/7. Taking breaks, taking the weekends off, and getting a full night of sleep are all important both to your individual effectiveness and the success of the entire team.

Negative thoughts

Negativity is contagious. If you are angry or frustrated with an employee or situation, take a step back to gather yourself before reacting. Remaining positive in the face of a challenge displays perseverance and optimism, both important characteristics of effective leaders.