The success of a business depends on several components, and the most important of these components is good leadership. Without proper leadership, a company will not succeed. Just look at some of the most successful businesses in the world and then take a look at their leaders; Microsoft and Bill Gates, for example. However, not everyone in a position of power has proper leadership skills, and the result is often a business that fails – just look at what happened to one of the biggest business failures of all time; Kenneth Lay and Enron.
If you are in a position of power, drive your company to success by avoiding poor leadership skills – and them like the plague. Below are a few examples of the most common types of bad leadership and how you can avoid them.
Poor Communication Skills. Communication is essential for success in any area of like, especially in business. An inability to communicate expectations and goals will lead to confusion, poor performance and poor results. Work on your communication skills to ensure that everyone understands goals and expectations. Use several forms of communication to effectively get the message across; hold meetings, send out newsletters and emails, for example.
Non-Flexible. Leaders who are not able to modify their approach and who aren’t willing to make changes are almost guaranteed not to succeed. In today’s world, that “It’s my way or no way at all” type of attitude doesn’t fly. Peers and staff want to be heard and they want to know that their input is important. If a leader’s current tactics aren’t working, these tactics need to be modified. Case closed; end of story.
Being too Friendly. Yes, being friendly is a good thing, and it certainly helps to keep the moral of your staff up; however, being too friendly can be detrimental. There will be times when you have to make important decisions related to your staff, and if you’re too friendly with your staff, they may not be willing to accept these decisions. Some may also try to take advantage of their relationship with you in order to get ahead. To avoid this problem, you can be friendly, but set limits and make sure that your staff understands that you are the boss.
Being Biased. Let’s face it; it is human nature to choose sides. We all root for a specific character in a movie or a book. However, the workplace isn’t a movie or a book; it is reality and your business, and if you want to run the fairest ship possible, then you are going to have to remain unbiased. You can’t choose sides when there is a confrontation, or offer a promotion to someone you like over someone who is more qualified for the position. In order to avoid being biased, remember that you are running a business and you have to do what is best for the success of the business.
Fear Mongering. You probably have had experience with someone in your life that used fear tactics to get you to do something, and you probably didn’t react well to it. Trying to instill fear into someone to achieve results can actually do the opposite; negatively impact performance. Why? Because people naturally become stressed out when they are afraid, and when people are stressed, they don’t perform as well as they normally would. So, instead of saying “You better pick up the pace, or else you’re going to lose your job,” try taking a more positive approach to achieve your desired results. For example, you could share the benefits that increased productivity will cause.

When it comes to effective leadership, you have to put your best foot forward in all aspects of your business. Using even one negative leadership skill will have a negative impact on the success of your business. Good leadership skills aren’t something that everyone is born with, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a good leader; it’s a learning process and with proper development and training, you can become the best leader that you can be.

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Rezac is Vice President of Instruction for the Western region for the Leaders Institute She is based in Seattle, Washington and also teaches in Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego and other Western cities.