How Bad Leadership Destroys a Company’s Credibility

One bad apple really can destroy the whole applecart. While our firm has the luxury of working with some really terrific companies around helping develop their leaders for the future by working to develop and design curriculum and programs like executive coaching, 360 feedback, coaching skills for leaders or leadership and team development, not every company gets the need to be congruent on what they say they want in their leader’s behaviors and what they actually get in behavior. We are always amazed by the notion that some companies prioritize a leaders’ results over bad leadership behavior. We see this time and time again in the following illustrated examples:

  • 360 feedbeek results where direct reports fear reprisal or backlash for telling the truth, so they sugarcoat their real feelings about the leader’s performance and impact 
  • Team leaders who only think “I” instead of “we” and undermine the growth and development of the talent on the team by focusing only their accomplishments
  • Leaders who only know how to direct or tell their people what to do, not empower or problem solve dilemnas with future impact, treating their people like order takers or worse sheep
  • Boorish leaders on a power kick who talk badly about direct reports who are not in the meeting
  • Leaders who blame others instead of step up and take responsibilty
  • Leaders who want to control every aspect of their functional area
  • Leaders who bully or intimidate based on their power base

The impact this bad behavior has on your company is often hard to measure. You may fool yourself into thinking that as long as the results are good, everything is okay and that is the problem. Somewhere in your organization right now there is a person who reports to one of these difficult leaders thinking:

  • Why do we even have a leadership competency model if we are not going to use it?
  • What are they thinking tolerating and even celebrating this leader as a high potential?
  • How do I get out of here? It is time to look for a new job because they just don’t care…
  • Why should I stay late to finish this project, my leader doesn’t care about me..

We know that people do not leave companies they leave bad bosses, but you can bet when they are out in the community or have landed at another company and they are asked about their employment at your company, they will talk about the bad boss but they will also show their anger and disappointment with the company.

What are you doing to develop your leaders so that their behavior and their results are in alignment? Your company’s reputation just might depend on your answer to this question.