Strong leadership is essential for a business or organization to grow and be successful. Under strong leadership, a company and its employees thrive. Poor leadership results in poor performance, which ultimately leads to the failure of the business. Ineffective or bad leaders may be able to slide by for a while, but a few common signs of poor leadership eventually reveal themselves. When the problem becomes apparent, it's important to resolve the situation before the manager can do permanent damage.

Low Productivity

Productivity problems within a team are often a result of poor leadership. A manager who wastes time and energy on the wrong things, such as complaining about what needs to be done or excessively planning how to complete a project instead of executing the work, will rarely complete any work. This results in falling behind on performance targets and other deadlines.

Low Morale

Poor leaders incite an overall feeling of low morale and lack of enthusiasm in a team. This is due to various reasons, such as the encouragement of negative competition by the leader, unnecessary and unreasonable micromanaging and a leader’s habit of publicly humiliating and reprimanding employees for every little mistake.

Unwillingness to Collaborate

A lack of collaboration and openness to the ideas and suggestions of team members is a clear sign of a poor leader. This type of leadership injects negativity within a team and members will likely feel as if they are not part of a team at all.


Bad leaders often show favoritism among the team. Selections for special projects and promotions may be given to friends rather than to someone who works hard and is productive. This practice often leads to feelings of resentment, infighting and division among the team.

Unbalanced Work Loads

An unbalanced work load between departments or teams is a sign of poor leadership. This often results improper planning or delegation from the leader to divert attention in case of failure or to simply avoid working. An unbalanced work load creates unnecessary overtime for the overworked team or department and underutilization for the other team or department.


Poor leaders are often disorganized leaders. A disorganized leader is late for meeting and deadlines, constantly misplaces important documents, often misses vital pieces of information, is never on track with the rest of the company and is generally disruptive to everyone.

Talk Without Action

A manager who is full of promises and constantly talks of plans and improvement but never delivers is a poor leader. These leaders make everything sound good without doing much of anything. Promising without delivering is detrimental to a company, as customers will eventually look elsewhere for better service and higher quality.