Understanding the traits of poor leaders can help you avoid leadership pitfalls and by doing so recognize how to strengthen your leadership abilities. So what are 7 signs of poor leadership?
1. Threatening behavior
Poor leaders intimidate and bully employees, often threatening them to fire them if work is not completed satisfactorily. Employees of a poor leader are frequently publicly criticized for mistakes and poor performance.
2. Never apologizing
If you are always right, then there is no reason to apologize. When it is obvious an apology is necessary, the reaction will be to blame any negative situation on someone else, thereby alleviating any need to apologize.
Micromanagers can't resist becoming involved in the smallest details of their employee's jobs. Why? Because they want to prove they know best and can do a better job than their own people. It also avoids having to consider the bigger picture.
4. Lack of discipline
Constantly changing the goals, targets, expectations and structure are clear signs of a poor leader. Constantly trying something different or being attracted by the latest "shiny object" shifts focus and attention of the company and prevents any real process to get traction.
5. Nebulous expectations
Failing to make expectations clear can frustrate employees and hinders their ability to successfully complete a task. Poor leaders don't tell employees when a project is due or if there is one, change it.
6. Lack of motivation
Poor leaders have no idea how to motivate others. So in the absence of such skills they use the "carrot and stick' technique without the carrot. They share their negative opinions about the company and are unable to consider anyone's viewpoint but their own. They don't respond well to complaints or suggestions.
7. Bad communication
Poor leaders don't value communication with their employees. Listening to others is a low priority and a poor communicator constantly interrupts while an employee is talking because they are more interested in what THEY have to say, not others.
Peter M. Beaumont is a business adviser, author and speaker.
Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook!