Most people in a leadership role are well intentioned. They want to be great and do great things. They do not purposefully try to build a reputation for alienating employees, creating high turnover, having low team productivity, missing targets, being incompetent and seen as untrustworthy, but it happens. Before you know it, employees (past and present) are referring to you as the Worst Leader Ever.

How is such a dubious honour bestowed upon a leader? Unfortunately people fall into the leadership trap of superiority. They believe that their role gives them power and prestige over others. When caught in this trap, leaders develop, hone and perfect the 7  principles that lead them to becoming the WORST LEADER EVER!.

Do as I say, NOT as I do!Worst Leadership Principle #1: BE A HYPOCRITE

“Do as I say, not as I do”.

There is no better way in the leadership world to create confusion, heighten frustration, destroy credibility and break trust as having separate rules for you and your employees.  Worst Leaders Ever do not align their actions with their words!

Worst Leadership Principle #2: LISTEN TO YOUR EGO

Your ego is the be all and end all. Take any and all action that will satisfy your ego. It is always right – listen to it when it says:

  • you are smarter than everyone else
  • don’t back down, hold your ground
  • dismiss feedback
  • don’t give up control
  • and so much more

Worst Leadership Principle #3: SPEAK NO SPEAK

Keep all employees in the dark and do not communicate anything. However, if communication is needed, the messages are confusing, convoluted, last minute and ever changing in order to keep the employees off balance and frustrated.

Worst Leadership Principle #4: SELF-PERSERVATION

It is a dog-eat-dog world out there. The only one who cares about you is you.  As a Worst Leader Ever ensure you are protected during organization turmoil or change by always making yourself look good. There is a simple two-pronged approach to this principle:

1)   Take Credit – when something under your leadership goes well, take full credit.  Don’t recognize the team’s effort.  The internal conversation goes something like this “this was all my doing, I am only one person and I do it all.  I deserve this.”

2)   Pass the Buck – when something under your leadership goes wrong, quickly and emphatically blame the team. The Worst Leaders Ever throws any and all individuals under the bus for their poor delivery. The internal conversation goes something like this “It was not my fault it was the team, I mean I am only one person after all, I can’t be expected to do everything.”

Worst Leadership Principle #5: Gossip – ‘just between you and me’

Worst Leaders Ever share confidential information about employees with employees (of which they are peers). There is a trick to this principle.  Each conversation is started with the statement “just between you and me” – this is a very important phrase because it tricks the person into believing (1) the leader trusts them, and (2) the leader favours them. This way, the employee will never see it coming when leader gossips about them to one of their peers.

Worst Leadership Principle #6: Look Past the People

People can be so annoying – wanting to say hi or trying to be friendly or looking for advice. Worst Leaders Ever don’t have time for these types of pleasantries they are a Leader! So they ignore the team and look past them at every opportunity – they do not acknowledge anyone in the hall, or in the lunch room when you are warming up your lunch. The Worst Leaders Ever just keep on typing when someone is talking with them.

However, they do make you feel like a King/Queen when they need you (see Principle #1 Be a Hypocrite).

Worst Leadership Principle #7: MANIPULATE

The best way to get the hidden agenda accomplished is to manipulate the people, the processes and the systems. Worst Leaders Ever rely on trickery, deception, lies, omission, exploitation and betrayal to get what they need and want.

If you truly want to be a great leader, than avoid the above leadership traps. Do not be lured in by the short-term power and prestige these principles offer you because in the long-run, you will find it extremely difficult to overcome your new reputation as being the Worst Leader Ever!

If you are in a leadership role today and you currently abide by two or more of the above principles…you are having a negative impact on your team. Today is the the day to make the shift and avoid the dubious honour of Worst Leader Ever.