It’s an interesting conundrum. Say you’re a manager, a senior-level executive, or a human resources employee; your job is to be a leader, yes, but also to pick out leaders, to select who will be promoted, given extra responsibility, head up a project or team. How do you know who will make a great leader in a given circumstance?
There are loads of articles floating around about attributes that make great leaders great, but what makes a poor leader? We can all pick them out after the fact (hindsight is 20/20 after all), but what traits set these people apart even before they assume a leadership role?I propose that any one or more of the following traits would be a red flag that a person might not be ready for a leadership position:
This is not to say that having one of these characteristics automatically bars anyone from assuming a leadership position. In fact, I believe people can learn to overcome any of these bad habits and become a better leader.
But if someone exhibits more than one trait on this list, it’s a good bet that they’re not ready to lead at this time. If you are in a position to help them grow, take the time to constructively point this out to them, and give them the opportunity to improve. You’ll be modeling how a great leader really works.
What characteristics do you think indicate someone is or will be a poor leader? I’d love to discuss them in the comments below.