5 Things Leaders Do that Hurt Business

There’s no such thing as a perfect leader, but this shouldn’t be an excuse to constantly assess yourself when it comes to leading your team. Check to see if you or your leadership team is guilty of these bad leadership practices.

Undesirable work habits can slowly invade your company culture and escape the undiscerning eye. The negative effects are especially great when leaders themselves commit these bad work habits. Sure signs of leadership dysfunction are rebellion against authority, distrust among teammates, low employee morale, and unprofitable companies. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of an ailing business, check to see if you’re guilty of the following hurtful practices:

Winging it

Many leaders are passionate influencers and visionaries. Many are also gifted with remarkable intuition. This is definitely an advantage. But there’s just too much hype on “passion” and “vision” that concrete plansand action can sometimes be sacrificed. No organization can thrive with only “gut-feel” and passion as driving forces.  You need a clear plan and strategy for the rest of the team to follow. Without a blueprint, members will be unable to move as one unit, and you might find yourself at a loss amidst the competition.

Internal Politics

According to Med Jones’ Workplace Politics and Poor Performance, the leadership team is your most important asset, but it can also be your worst liability. All is well when the leadership team is built on a foundation of trust and transparency. But when leaders start bickering and pulling each other down in a desire to gain advantage over other leaders or hold on to their positions, you can be assured that poor performance and failure will be the results.

Lack of a feedback system

An effective feedback system paves the way to transparency. It gives people the confidence to voice out their concerns to leaders and teammates. Year-end appraisals aren’t enough when miscommunication and other problems can crop up anytime.  Instead, work hard to promote a culture of accountability every day. Feedback can be done one-on-one, during meetings, or on paper.   What systems do you have in place for members to give constructive criticisms to one another and to leaders themselves?


Overly controlling behavior is never healthy for any type of relationship. Are you monitoring your employees’ every move?  Do you automatically treat new ideas with suspicion? Do you find yourself doing all the work, because you just can’t trust others to reach your standards?  Rules are good; distrust and over-management are not.

Decreasing standards

In an effort to increase profits, some leaders choose to cut corners and decrease their standards.  You may choose to lessen the quality of products or to neglect having effective safety procedures at work.  You may reduce your expenses doing this, but you will also inevitably lose customer loyalty and lower employee morale.

If you’ve identified one or more of these leadership practices in your organization, act quickly and implement the necessary adjustments.  It might take a bit of time to rectify some errors, but the results will be worth it.