How to Suck as a Leader: 10 Easy Steps | Part 2

In part one of this series, I gave you four sure-fire ways you can suck as a leader. (1) Making it all about you, (2) failing to be a servant leader, (3) being a know-it-all, and (4) neglecting any focus on the future. Today, in part two, I’ll unpack three more ways you can suck as a leader.


  1. Resist Change at all cost. Change is a fact of life. It’s not an option. Change happens everyday, all around us, and there is nothing we can do about it. As leaders we must embrace change. We must look into the future and engineer the ongoing change necessary to stay ahead of the curve (and, more importantly, the competition). Change is inevitable and if you have any chance of creating a culture open to change, you must lead the way.
  2. Blame, blame, blame. Too many leaders I’ve dealt with seem to have an excuse for every failure and every miscue. Nothing ever seems to be their fault. As leaders, when someone on our team makes a mistake, we must, at some level, accept that we share some (maybe all) of the blame. When something goes wrong, a strong leader steps up, acknowledges there was problem, takes responsibility for his team and his leadership. Then, if there is blame to be distributed, it is done in private and it is used as a teaching moment. You’re team wants to know (and needs to know) you’ve got their back. If they think you’re going to hurl them under the next bus that comes by, they won’t have a lot of respect for, or trust in you.
  3. Don’t communicate – keep people in the dark. Often I hear leaders justify their lack of communication by claiming they are “protecting” their team. “They don’t need to know everything,” they’ll say. “They just can’t handle it.” Okay, I agree that your team doesn’t need to know everything. There isn’t time nor reason for that. However, 80-90% of what you deal with should be shared, at some level, with your team. If they feel informed they will feel valued. If they feel informed and valued they’ll trust  you. An informed, valued, and trusting team is a highly productive team. They will reward you for your open and honest communication.

In part three, I’ll give three more examples of what can be done to be a really bad leader.

“You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.” ~ Sam Rayburn

Question: Which of the four poor leadership practices listed above do you need to be more intentional about avoiding?

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