Everyone has experienced being on the end of bad leadership – it’s everywhere you turn.
Bad leadership is in workplaces, community groups, families, and on a larger scale, it’s amongst those in charge of countries – those who ultimately shape the World.
There’s many forms of bad leadership: the ego driven ‘Nazi’, who rules with an iron fist. Creating fear in their subordinates, is the only way they can exert their ‘power’.
It’s interesting that so many believe this is the best way to ‘lead’, when in actual fact, this does not entice anyone to ‘follow’ willingly. It’s more like dragging someone by their hair, as they kick and scream in painful resistance. Surely nothing productive can come from such unwilling participants?
On the opposite side of leaders, you have those who want to be everybody’s ‘best friend’. These types of leaders are no good either – too scared to lead out of fear of not being liked. It’s great to be friendly and have a good rapport with people. However, sometimes a leader must make decisions that may not be popular with their mentees, or the leader may have to reprimand a mentee they are responsible for.
Being fearful of not being liked, will only hinder the leader from performing such tasks, and will most likely result in a lack of respect from those under their guidance. This sort of leader is generally seen as weak and easily walked all over.
So, you have the two extremes: one being too strong and forceful, the other being too weak and not firm enough – surely somewhere in the middle lies a great leader! However, striking that balance is obviously not easy, if it were, you would see great leaders everywhere – even World peace perhaps!
Most World problems do come from bad leadership. Maybe it should be compulsory for World Leaders to partake in a ‘thought leadership’ programme, before assuming office; after all, does leadership come naturally?
From the evidence around the Globe, it doesn’t appear likely. One may have some natural attributes that contribute to great leadership, but realistically, bringing all the required skills together must be learned.
If you look to some of the great leaders of the past, such as: Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi, you will see, they each experienced some sort of adversity in their life that helped them learn the necessary skills to become great leaders.
Skills such as: determination and persistence – devotion to a cause they cared deeply about. They put their personal fears aside, for the betterment of others. They had great foresight and strategic planning abilities, and were able to positively motivate others to follow those plans.
These are some of the attributes that consistently show up amongst great leaders, and without mastering these attributes you cannot be a great leader.
The problem is not in mastering these attributes, the problem is getting leaders to recognise these attributes need to be mastered. One must remember: if you learn to lead yourself, the rest will learn to follow!