10 Signs That You Suck As a Leader Your staff won't tell you that you're terrible. You'll just have to figure it out yourself.

By Dov Baron

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


If you ask one of your key employees how you're doing as a leader, chances are that you aren't going to get a 100 percent honest answer. The employee probably isn't going to tell you your faults, when you have the power to destroy his or her employment.

Related: Employees Lose When Leaders Stop Leading

You may be asking why you should even ask such a question of your employees. After all, you're the boss. But it's simple, really. Research shows that more than 70 percent of the workforce is disengaged. Much of the cause of that disengagement oftem stems from the active dislike the employee has for his or her leader, often described as "the manager from hell."

But none of these employees are going to risk their jobs to tell you that. And because of their reluctance, you may need to take a long, hard look at your behavior and be brave enough to recognize the signs that you aren't doing as good of a job as a leader as you would like.

Here are 10 signs that you may, well, suck as a leader:

1. Your attitude is "This is how we do things around here, and you can like it or leave."

Great leaders are in a constant state of growth and adaptability. They would never approach employees with this attitude.

2. You are busy being nice.

Great leaders know what truly matters. Leaders know their purpose -- their why. Running a business is not a popularity contest that leaders need to try to win. If you spend all your time trying to be nice to people, you aren't leading.

3. You micro-manage.

Great leaders are collaborative, not micro-managers. Leaders don't feel that they have to do everything themselves. They trust their team members to do it and know they will do it right.

Related: Leaders Succeed When They Go Where Their Fear Tells Them to Avoid

4. You are all about the numbers.

Great leaders are, first and foremost, CROs. You know -- chief relationship officers. Leaders cannot always focus on the bottom line. Remember that the number one character trait of great leaders is that they highly value the people they lead.

5. You secretly, or not so secretly, dislike people.

Great leaders are genuinely into their work relationships. They like people and love seeing them grow. You have no business being a leader if you don't like people.

6. You steal the light.

Great leaders give the spotlight to others. Bad leaders take credit for what's not theirs, and justify their behavior based on some "rational-lies" that they tell themselves. But it is not, despite anything you have ever been told, all about you.

7. You lack empathy and compassion.

Great leaders have a highly developed level of emotional intelligence. Don't try to lead if you can't grasp this concept.

8. You lack self-knowledge.

Great leaders are continually developing deeper self-knowledge, because they understand that self-knowledge lies at the root of genuine empathy and compassion. In order to lead effectively, you have to know who you are below the surface.

9. Your people don't trust you.

Great leaders are highly integral. They don't say one thing and do another. If this is you, you'll lose ground every quickly with your staff.

10. You keep your personal life a secret.

Great leaders are bonded to their people, and their people are bonded to them. Great leaders know and care about who their people are. Great leaders let their people see who they authentically are beyond their role as leader. Let people in, proving that you have learned the power of vulnerability.

If you read this, and you find yourself saying, "Yeah, but you don't understand," what you are actually saying is that you are committed to sucking at your role as you are at leading. If that's the case, no one can help you until you decide it's too painful to stay the same.

Related: 7 Habits of Masterful Managers Who Coach Their Teams to Success

So, what's it going to be?

Wavy Line
Dov Baron

Top 100 Leadership Speaker, Mentor, Bestselling Author, Master Storyteller

Dov Baron is recognized as one of the top 100 leadership speakers to hire and corporate cultural strategist. He is the founder of "Full Monty Leadership" and a bestselling author. His latest book is Fiercely Loyal: How High Performing Companies Develop and Retain Top Talent.

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