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Are You A Bad Leader, Or Just A Bad Person?

Good leadership inspires those around them to be at their best and at times, exceed their potential while feeling gratitude towards the work to reward ratio. Bad leadership stifles creativity, happiness, and talent.

Shhh. No one else knows you are reading this but you. Are your teams not meeting your expectations or their potential? You may want to ask yourself this question and consider the hard answer. Usually people know if they are good or bad so you might already know the answer. However, sometimes good people are buried underneath the bad leader they believe they are supposed to be. Sometimes bad people are disguised as good to fulfill whatever obligations they think they have to their organization. Have you really thought about the answer to this question and paid attention to it?

The truth is, the best leaders are just good people who know how to inspire and unleash others. Good leadership is self-less and even loving; not for the sake of production, but just to see people realizing their passions and potential. THAT is good leadership.

Being a good leader isn’t about getting people to do things for you or the company. That is a recipe for success, but for how long? Even though we are in an age of immediate gratification, one thing that hasn’t changed is our innate need to be a part of a tribe. People will stay if they are respected, integral, and engaged with the wellbeing of their tribe no matter how many apps they have running on their phones.

Being a good leader IS about genuinely caring about your people because it’s just good to be a good person. Often the bi-product of that is loyalty and perhaps increased effort, but always remember that that is more about their relationship with themselves than it is with their relationship with you. Indeed, a good leader inspires their teams to work at their potential and sometimes, rise above their own expectations but again, that is more about them than it is about the leader. A good leader just enables their people to be who they already are by creating trusting and inspiring environments around them.

If you’re a bad person- stop what you are doing. Go get help. Understand WHY you are bad. Fix it. Apologize. Come Back. Then begin building trust within your organization through your actions and work your way back up. What could be more inspiring? Life is a journey, not a race. Take the time- get it right.

If you are a good person but are having trouble LEADING your teams, start with this:

  1. Cultural Alignment- Ensure your people are aligned culturally. Do they even know the mission and direction of the company? This is so important when it comes to leading in the absence of leadership. This gives them direction and confidence to do the right thing! If they don’t, it is likely that they are working in the direction they believe your company should be. This isn’t usually a good thing.

  2. Trust through improvement and accountability- Do your people TRUST you? Trust is something you earn everyday. Never sacrifice trust for the end state. Do people see you caring enough about them to improve the things you need to improve on? No one is perfect and we all know it. We trust people we see trying to improve. Also, Do you hold each person equally accountable? There is no trust if there isn’t accountability. No favors, no preferences, just fairness. Of course, there are circumstances unique to every situation, but they must be addressed so that people understand the outcome and there aren’t any secrets.

  3. Communication- Every person you know speaks a different language that is unique to them and that they most resonate with. Do you know the languages that exist in your team? As a leader, you should- you HAVE to.

  4. Leadership- Are you training the entirety of your organization to be leaders? You should be. This is how they learn to become good leaders-not on their first day after their promotion. Are you promoting your people based off of their operational acumen? You shouldn’t be, this has nothing to do with leadership. You SHOULD be promoting your people based on their ability to inspire others around them and their practice of leading by example.

  5. Teamwork- Do you promote cross-functional events or even communication in your day-to-day operations? There is so much talent within the walls of your organization, imagine what it would look like if it was brought to bear in a collaborative and focused effort. Your organization or team is already an orchestra, does it have a conductor?

If you need help with any or all of these points, The Trident Approach is specifically designed to connect these gaps in leadership for the betterment of your Team.


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