While people displaying bad leadership traits are generally good people and not inherently evil or out to destroy lives, truth is, they are awfully misplaced in the highly esteemed role of leading other human beings.
Most of the time, I've found, bad leadership comes down to some big blind spots. Most people are able to overcome the blind spots that hold them back by raising their self-awareness. The rest is being able to apply what they learned habitually. As a result, they'll shift.
Blind spots are the Achilles' heel to achieving someone's full human leadership potential, and unless people address them, they'll remain stuck.
For well-intentioned leaders willing to take the bold journey toward personal growth, they need to be mindfully aware of the very reasons people are quitting on their watch. It may be for these six reasons.
1. They are psychologically absent.
When leaders are disconnected from their team and avoid meaningful involvement with them, studies have found a label for this: The "absentee leader." A growing body of research shows that absentee leadership, also known as laissez-faire leadership, is not only destructive to teams but and leads to turnover, but it was also found to be the most common form of incompetent leadership.
2. They lack empathy.
In a leader's crucial business conversations, displaying empathy is your secret weapon, but it's not something in which you can "fake it till you make it." Empathic leaders naturally foster strong personal relationships and think about their team members' circumstances; they understand their challenges and frustrations; and they know that those emotions are every bit as real as their own. This helps develop perspective and opens team members to helping one another.
3. They don't recognize their employees.
Something as simple (and free) as showing appreciation for an employee's contribution can be a difference-maker. This, of course, would imply hiring and promoting more human-centered leaders who can recognize and express praise for their people. According to research, nearly 22 percent of workers who don't feel recognized when they do great work have interviewed for a job in the previous three months, compared to just 12.4 percent who do feel recognized.
4. They don't provide growth opportunities.
Employees who feel they are progressing in their careers are much more likely to stay at their companies for the long term. If execs and HR teams can align their employee-retention strategies by creating pathways for the personal and career growth of their employees, they will witness happier, more productive work environments.
5. They hide behind their charisma.
Some of the most successful leaders in the world are known for their charisma. But charisma is hard to define and measure, and it exists in the eye of the beholder. According to one expert leadership psychologist, charisma clouds people's evaluations and objectivity of how leaders actually perform when they see them as "charismatic." Worse, when charisma is combined with narcissism and psychopathy, is a lethal combination. However, research has shown that when followers have more information on a leader, the importance of charisma declines.
6. They simply don't care enough for people.
Leaders lacking self-awareness may not support their people by showing an interest in their jobs and career aspirations or care enough about what motivates them. These careless habits are the opposite of what great leaders do: They look into the future to create learning and development opportunities; they support their employees' future career choices; and they're there for people going through transitions or difficult circumstances in their personal lives. As leadership guru John C. Maxwell once said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."