9 Practices That Will Guarantee You – A Bad Leader


There are many ways to educate, learn and practice concepts. If you have kids you probably use this technique – show what is the wrong in the situation with potential  consequences – in hopes of teaching what should be done.  Well, below I have taken 9 practices that I have witnessed over the past 25+ years (here at current employer, my military experience and outside activities – coaching). Why 9? Nine is my favorite number – there are probably more, many more… 

1. Never value your journey as a success.

People who consider the achievement of the ultimate goal as the only possible way to achieve success are perfect prospects to never be good leaders. A successful leader is one that is driven to accomplish their vision. Those small wins along the way – are not a true measure of success. It truly is the journey. 

2. Never delegate.

Successful leaders know how to delegate. Want to suck at leadership – don’t delegate anything.   If you try to do everything by yourself, you’ll end up with so much unimportant details that you won’t have any time or energy to dedicate to the really significant stuff such as…being a leader instead of a task administrator. When I first was promoted to leader of a team – I struggled a bit with this one. Letting go can be a scary thought, especially when the responsibility is yours.  

3. Never point out anything positive about the people who surround you.

It is far easier to point out the negative than the positives, especially within our Intel culture . Fact is, a faster way to destroying relationships is to not only withhold compliments, but express negative comments about those who surround you. When I sit with other leaders, and hear them talk about their team members – and they express the negatives, it sheds some light on some of the problems that maybe causing that team to perform well.

4. Never consider leadership as a means.

Those who most frequently fail at leadership are those who see it as a material object to be attained, instead of a means to attain something that is meaningful to society or a part of it. Successful leaders, on the other hand, get to practice leadership because they want to express themselves and their vision. They aren’t leaders just for the sake of being leaders. In my experience, when I am discussing career planning with an employee, they want to be a manager, leader (or that promotion). When I ask why they want to become one – the majority of the time it is money and fame driven. Yes, that helps pay the bills, but there has to be a better reason. 

5. Never think of leadership as a way to serve others.

This is a very important message to those who want to fail as leaders: just serve yourself. Become a leader out of mere self-interest and you’ll be well on your way to being a perfect failure as a leader. Great leaders have a purpose that is greater than themselves. It is always easier to think and worry about # 1, but what about the other 10+ folks.

6. Leave a trail of broken bodies on the way to the top.

This is another great way to destroy your chances of failure. When you get to the “top”, just start taking those “beneath” you for granted. When you come crashing down in the future, nobody will be there to help you up, since you destroyed all those meaningful relationships with people who are now on “top” of you. We all have seen a few folks that have left a trail of broken bodies on their way to the top – they will fall – eventually.

7. Never read or learn, just think you now everything.

Great leaders don’t stop learning. They read every type of book they can get their hands on, and take a critical point of view toward them, which will help them when analyzing real-world situations. With the many blogs and forums – the learning can take on a new method, rather than books. It is amazing how much you can learn. Add, micro-blogging, the contacts you can touch base with have increased significantly. 

8. Never mold your own environment.

If you want to do everything in your power to suck at leadership, let circumstances and your environment mold you . Truly successful leaders are those who see something they don’t like and strive to change it. They aren’t bogged down by petty day-to-day events. They go out and create their own set of favorable circumstances instead of letting the likes and wants of others destroy their visions.

9. Never fail.

This may be the most important principle to follow in your quest to leadership insignificance. True leaders come to see failures and mistakes as learning vehicles. If you want to stay stuck at where you are right now, then don’t do anything differently. Don’t risk failing, since it will only bring you unlimited opportunities, and someone who would never want to be a leader would never want that. Early on in my career, one of my managers, stressed to me that there is success in failure. If you will learn much more from your failures than your successes.

Have you seen some or all of these?