5 Signs You’re A Terrible Business Leader

Written by Chloe Harwood

Which one are you?

Are you a bad business leader? “No, of course, I’m not” we hear you say, as your finger hovers over the close button of the webpage. You are probably the greatest business leader the world has ever seen. Steve Jobs? Bill Gates? Erm… Donald Trump? They have nothing on you, though you may have already picked up a few tips from these esteemed (and less esteemed) business leaders. On the other hand, you may have picked up a few bad habits, or you could be generally clueless about some of the character traits that are affecting your business. So, while we would never suggest you are a terrible business leader, if any of the following signs are relevant to you, it’s time you started to change your ways.

  1. You rule with an iron fist (or one made out of cotton wool)

Unless you are running a business from your bedroom, you probably have a number of employees working for you. Of course, they aren’t only there to follow your every whim and to make you money. They are human beings (they do have a name beyond their national insurance number) and you need to care for them. Manage them incorrectly, and your business will suffer. Rule with an iron fist, and you will cause fear, resentment, and probably a mass walkout. On the opposite end of the scale, if you are too soft with your employees, they will walk all over you and be unproductive. A good leader manages his employees well, ensuring work gets done, and respect is earned. On what end of the spectrum do you fall?

  1. You are still stuck in the 1990’s

Not the latest in mobile phone technology  

The 90’s was a great decade, in terms of music, fashion, and film. Computing software became more readily available for businesses, and at an affordable price. Fax machines were all the rage, and mobile phones were in the hands of nearly everybody, despite causing wrist damage with the sheer weight of those early brick models. However, if your office space is still stocked with some of this archaic equipment, it’s time to get into the 21st century, grandad! No matter how much of a technophobe you are, it is vital you keep up. From using the latest computer equipment and machinery to speed up productivity, to using the latest ios app development to broaden your business methods, you need to know what is trending to stay ahead of the competition. And let’s face it! Do you still use that fax machine? We hope not.

  1. You have a giant ego

You don’t need us to tell you how wonderful you are – you are probably already demanding that attention from your family, employees, and your reflection every time you look in the mirror. You probably do have your talents, and some of the praise you receive will be warranted. However, is your ego threatening your business? Do you ignore the advice of others because you know best? Are you boasting about yourself at business meetings? Do you strut around the office like an oversized peacock? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of those questions, then you do have a giant ego, and you’re also a bit of an idiot! Sorry, but it’s true. Your employees are your greatest resource, and you should listen to what they bring to the (business) table. People will tire of your boastfulness at meetings and will probably scoff at you behind your back. So, trim your peacock feathers, and learn the value of humility and regard for the rest of the human race, or at least those involved in your business circles.

  1. You work 24/7

Remember the days when you had some semblance of a social life? You know, those days when you had conversations that weren’t about profit margins, tax rates, and brand strategies. Those days when you were able to binge watch Netflix and not a steady stream of corporate videos. Those days when you weren’t exhausted, and actually had a good night’s sleep occasionally. Good days? Certainly, but how familiar are they? You want your business to succeed, so there will be times when you do take your work home with you, or stay longer in the office. But on a daily basis? This will disrupt your work-life balance, and your personal and business life will suffer because of it. If you burn yourself out, you are no good to anybody, so you do need to take a break. Return home on time, ignore your work emails and put your feet up. And you know… talk to somebody who isn’t a customer, client, or business partner.

  1. You are prone to ‘winging it’

Have a look at your schedule for work today. What does it look like? Oh, you don’t have a schedule! You’re winging it, going with the flow, seeing what sticks…bad move mister! There’s no harm in being flexible in your working methods, and it doesn’t hurt to be spontaneous once in a while. But if this is more common for you than not, you are going to run into trouble. For starters, you need to have a business plan in place, for the weeks, months, and years ahead. This may change occasionally, but at least you will have some kind of strategy in place. The same applies to your finances. If you don’t keep tabs on what you are spending, you will damage your business. Then there are business meetings. If you plan on winging it, you may embarrass yourself if you do or say the wrong thing. In short, we are telling you to start planning your life more, in all aspects of your business.

Final word

So, we will ask you again. Are you a bad business leader? If the above reads like flash fiction, then probably not. You aren’t perfect, of course, but you must be doing something right to avoid the attributes we mentioned. On the other hand, if any of the above rang true for you, then it’s time to turn the corner and make amends. It is possible to change your ways and assuming you have the capacity to fight that giant ego we mentioned, you can also seek help from others to help you do it. Talk to your employees, for starters, as well as other professionals within your industry. Be the best you can be, and you will see your business improve in leaps and bounds, within every facet of your company.

About the author

Chloe Harwood