It’s possible to have both good and bad leadership qualities, and there may be certain characteristics in a leader that defines you on either end of the spectrum. In any context, however, it is not an easy thing to be a leader and a good one for that matter. Think of it as a constant and ongoing cycle of evolving and developing yourself to improve.

In this article, we’ll explore both good and bad leadership qualities, helping you identify each and possibly develop areas for your own growth. even the best leaders have their bad days, the important thing is that you remain dedicated to supporting your team and constantly remind yourself of ways you can become a better leader.

The Responsibility of Leadership

As a leader, you’ll be in charge of a bigger workload, have more responsibility and be accountable for more than one person. This is a hard task to take on, which is why being a leader requires constant dedication to improving your communication skills and leadership style

If you’re thinking about examples of a good leader then the first answer one could think of may be Warren Buffet. Warren Buffet is a business mogul and the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He’s also a very well-known self-made businessman who kept developing in order to make it to the Big Leagues.

Buffet has had the ability to inspire and soothe others, due to his philanthropic causes and public speaking. He is a firm believer that the best leaders are storytellers who turn crises into stories to learn from; Buffet believes so because he belongs to the category of great leaders.

Good and bad leadership qualities featured image

Buffet is famous for being good at four things: making money, building companies, teaching and storytelling. These are qualities of effective leadership in business and the ability to impact those who surround you. According to the business hero, leadership is a skill, instead of an inherent talent.

In order to understand what kind of leader you can be, you need to know what leader you currently are.

Three Levels of Leadership

Leadership can be understood and categorized at different levels, each with its own focus and scope of influence. The three primary levels of leadership are:

Individual Leadership

This level of leadership is centred around personal leadership qualities and skills. Individual leaders exhibit strong attributes like self-awareness, emotional intelligence, communication, and decision-making abilities. They lead by example and inspire others through their actions and behaviour. Individual leadership is essential at all levels of an organization because every individual can influence those around them and contribute to the overall success of the team or group.

Team Leadership

Team leadership focuses on leading a group of individuals towards a common goal. At this level, leaders must foster collaboration, motivate team members, and facilitate effective communication and coordination. Team leaders must understand the dynamics of their team, build trust among members, resolve conflicts, and ensure that everyone’s strengths are utilized to achieve the team’s objectives. Effective team leadership is critical for achieving synergy and maximizing the collective efforts of the group.

Organizational Leadership

This level of leadership pertains to those individuals who hold high-level positions in an organization and are responsible for guiding the entire entity. Organizational leaders set the overall vision, mission, and strategic direction of the organization. They make decisions that impact the entire company or institution and are accountable for its performance and success. Organizational leaders need a broad perspective, strong strategic thinking skills, and the ability to manage complexity and change.

Leadership can also be examined at broader societal or global levels, where leaders influence countries, regions, or the world as a whole. However, the three levels mentioned above are often the ones most commonly discussed when referring to leadership in organizational or group settings. Effective leadership at each level contributes to the success and well-being of individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole.

What Is Effective Leadership and the Traits of a Good Leader?

Effective Leadership

It’s understandable that you would ask this question to yourself, at least once. There are so many qualities to define a good leader; however, it is easier said than done. A good leader is a person with more authority than everyone else but has the ability to inspire and motivate those inferior to them.

A good leader is a person who is accountable for their actions and the actions of those they are responsible for. They must also have excellent decision-making capabilities because leadership is all about making tough choices too.

What are the Characteristics of a Good Leader?

A good leader has many characteristics. These can include personal, emotional and professional characteristics, as well as more specific skills and qualities. In fact, the difference between good and bad leadership typically comes down to fairly simple personal characteristics.

This is because a good leader is someone that people want to work for. This means that the attributes of a good leader are ones which help to motivate, inspire and empower their followers.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important characteristics of a good leader in detail.

Honesty and Innovation

Some of the most important positive leadership traits are honesty and innovation, the ability to create new things and be transparent about their actions.

A good leader should be able to transfer their power and responsibility to other people, instead of monopolizing their authority. He/she should also be able to boost their team’s morale and motivate for better productivity. You can consider this as one of the most vital traits of leadership.

Along with motivation, an essential trait is the self-confidence to be able to take on such an important role in the workplace.


Self-confidence and confidence in others are qualities of a good leader, because it shows that they trust their team. It’s important for other people on the team to feel important and indispensable to the leader; this lets the team members offer more efficient productivity and loyalty to the leader.

Despite that, good leadership qualities are not black and white, it’s a grey area. There are good and bad leadership qualities in every leader. A leader is also a human being who is bound to make a mistake, so the environment the leader is surrounded by should understand.

Decision-Making Capabilities

Decision Making

A good leader should be able to think of a future, in a smart and realistic manner. They should be able to think of different scenarios of what the future holds, so they’re prepared for anything. Any leader who has a vision for the future will be able to handle any obstacle that occurs. They will have to forecast any forthcoming issues.

Besides having a vision for the future, a good leader should be able to make a decision in a timely manner. This means that a leader needs to make the right choice at the right time-frame, and whenever necessary. Any decision made by a leader has a large influence on the rest of the team and towards stakeholders.


A good leader would have to think long and hard before making a decision; however, once the decision is made, there is no going back. A good leader would stand by their choice and justify it in any circumstance. The leader makes the final decision, but a good leader refers to other people who will advise and discuss any major decision.

A leader must acknowledge that other people are affected by the decisions they make, either benefiting or suffering from it. As for accountability, a good leader should be able to hold their subordinates responsible for their actions.

In this context, if a subordinate has been doing well, then they deserve a reward. And, if a subordinate makes a mistake, then they should be held responsible and work together to improve. A good leader holds his/her subordinates accountable will provide some responsibility among the members and they’ll take the job more seriously. This will also give off the impression that the members are important.

Positive Leadership Qualities

Of course, the best leaders also have certain qualities which set them apart from just being a good leader. A quality differs from a characteristic in that it is more closely related to the outcomes a good leader achieves.

In this way, positive leadership traits can impact internal outcomes, like staff morale, productivity, efficiency and company culture, as well as more concrete external outcomes such as revenue, profitability and other core business goals.

Of course, these factors have obvious scope to influence one another. For example, efficiency leads to better profitability, which in turn can lead to an increase in morale. As such, the best leaders are those who are able to see the relationship between hard and soft outcomes.

Let’s take a closer look at what this means in practice.

Delegation and Empowerment

delegations good and bad leadership
Good leaders know how to delegate tasks. Image credit: Unknown

Another aspect of accountability is when a leader is blamed and held accountable for their actions and his-or-her subordinates’ actions. This shows that the leader protects their own and will stand by them in public, despite reprimanding them in public.

A good leader must understand that they cannot do everything on their own; it’s important for a leader to concentrate on the principal tasks while leaving the rest of their responsibilities to others. A leader can do so by delegating tasks to other people.

This reduces stress and gives the subordinates a chance to prove themselves.

Delegating is a positive leadership trait while micromanaging is a poor leadership quality. Micromanaging will lead to distrust among subordinates and eventually the leader will slip up with a mistake.


As for empowerment, it’s very important for a leader to persuade others to follow through example. Setting a good example for subordinates gives them something to work towards becoming; it also increases morale and productivity. People work better when they know they are making a difference.

As a leader, others will constantly look to them for guidance in any tough situation. Good leaders should spread positive vibes and encourage a positive approach in every situation, to assure the subordinates and keep calm.

As John Adams once said about good and bad leadership qualities, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Delegation and empowerment are key tools to being a good leader; it shows the importance of team work and the ability to transfer power, instead of monopolization of authority. Most ineffective leaders fail because of they are incapable of delegating tasks and such; it’s a very hard task to do but necessary to execute.

Honesty and Empathy

DIshonesty is bad leadership

Honesty and empathy are two synonymous qualities that are essential in a leader. It is the ability to tell the truth, at all costs and under any circumstance. As mentioned above, a leader’s looked to as an example and being honest is a redeeming quality for a leader.

Good leaders have succeeded by maintaining and standing by what they believe in, unapologetic-ally. Examples of these leaders are: Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela.

These fine men did not give up their values and they knew that without their ethics, nothing is possible.

Along with honesty, also known as transparency in the corporate world, empathy’s just as important to become a good leader. However, many leaders fail to develop empathy because of their dictatorial methods that hinder empathy. Empathy helps the leader understand their followers and connect with them.

Leaders sympathizing and understanding the problems of their subordinates is the first step to becoming exceptional leaders.


Creativity and innovation are must-haves in this fast-paced world, especially with the average attention span reducing to almost non-existent.

Being innovative means being open to thinking outside the box and coloring outside the lines, this means that a leader should be open to eccentric ideas and what they have to offer. Creative thinking and innovation are the two principal points that will make the leader different from everyone else.

Honesty, empathy and innovation emphasize on the leader’s character and his attitude towards his subordinates. A good leader would attempt to master all of the aforementioned qualities to achieve effective leadership.

However, there are good and bad leadership qualities, but it’s not always that simple.

What Are Leadership Weaknesses and the Qualities of a Bad Leader?

Leadership Weaknesses

There are a lot of horrible bosses out there and it’s inevitable to fall into one or become one. According to psychologist Robert Hogan in the American Psychological Association, there is 75 per cent of employees report that their immediate bosses are the worst part of their job.

There are good and bad leadership weaknesses; we’ve talked about good leadership qualities and now we’re going to talk about bad leadership qualities. If you’re a leader then you should look out for the warning signs that might make you one of them.

Lack of Adaptability

Fantastic leaders realize how to use a variety of leadership styles, depending on what the scenario requires. The easy reality is that not all employees are encouraged with the same elements, and there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Good leaders recognize this and are fluid. Negative leaders may be invested in their specific approaches and unwilling to adapt to what their subordinates require.

You’ll find that a bad leader is incapable and sluggish to evolve under changing conditions. They’ll be demonstrating a “my-way-or-the-highway” mindset, making them a poor leader.

Creating a plan for your employees is a matter that shouldn’t go unnoticed but frequently slips through the cracks. Having a growth and development plan for your subordinates is both effective and makes them more ambitious. However, not everyone invites change; only good leaders understand that change is inevitable.

Ineffective leaders avoid change at any cost and attempt to keep the status quo, in any way. This could be the refusal of new systems, any innovations or opinions that are ‘outside the box’.

Lack of Transparency

As for lack of transparency, staff can tell that you’re not being completely sincere with them. There’s not often a reason not to be totally transparent with your team, especially if they’re loyal to you.

Your subordinates will respect a need-to-know basis when it comes to where the organisation stands. This will assist everybody in coming together as a crew, targeted on the problems that need fixing for the lengthy-term advantage of the corporation.

Loss of transparency can result in a lack of trust and loyalty to you and your cause. The lack of trust could lead to the failure of the cause you are leading. It could also lead to the end of your time as a leader.

Poor Communication Skills

Part of feeling empathy for someone else is being capable of listening to what they have got to say, truly listening and being able to effectively respond. Negative leaders will be most responsive and aware of the ideas that are from their very own angle.

They may push aside differing critiques and opinions.

Bad leaders will no longer engage when their subordinates disagree with them and their idea. They will keep away and avoid having open discussions with those around them. Terrible leaders could just constantly revert and refer to their own opinion when making all decisions.

Poor leaders, also, fail to inform others of any decisions being made, big or small. They don’t clarify the important things with the people who work for them; it also surprises them when others don’t apprehend the essential aspects, despite not being told.

Bad leaders don’t ask for feedback or are dismissive of it when they get hold of it. Bad leadership means not caring about what your colleagues think.


Proper leaders lead by example in any way they can, by showing their subordinates the right way to do things. Leaders who are inconsistent of their behaviour will speedily convince others that they are not dependable enough to be the head of tasks; this also shows how incompetent and irresponsible they are.

A leader who is inconsistent and changes their mind leads to confusion and mixed signals among all people around them.

Inconsistency can lead to a team being baffled and pressured. It could increase the likelihood of costly and time-consuming mistakes and neglected connections. Along with leaving room for mistakes, the leader looks unable to handle the workload that was handed to them.

These poor leadership traits emphasize the importance of the leader gaining the trust of their subordinates, a symbiotic relationship. Good and bad leadership qualities are also measured by the amount of trust between them.

Playing the Blame Game

Good leaders will take responsibility for their actions and guard the ones around them. Terrible leaders will do precisely the opposite. They may blame the ones around them and could evade their responsibilities to save face.

The blame game has been confirmed as a fixture of the behavioural pattern, according to LeadersManagement. It could be difficult to regain morale from the subordinates that surround them. In an attempt to seek out scapegoats, bad leaders look for partners in their teams to clean up any messes.

These are some of the classic signs of bad leadership.

As a leader, you should accept the duty for any of your group’s mistakes. At the end of the day, you hold all the obligations of your subordinates, so allow your team to understand that mistakes are understandable. Then propose solutions instead of assigning blame.

Leaders ought to recognize the issues their inferiors face and start doing whatever it takes to eliminate barriers. This will give access to their team to provide the best productive quality work. These boundaries are related to a lack of resources, a lack of path and a loss of positive subculture.

Lack of Empathy

In reference to a lack of empathy, unresponsive leaders will frequently be incapable of emotionally understanding their inferiors. They will also be unable to relate with those around them. Bad leaders will additionally dismiss the wishes or requests of those around them as unimportant or trivial.

Empathy requires the capability to apprehend and amount to the emotions of another; whereas sympathy means feelings of pity for another person’s affairs. Empathy requires an excessive degree of emotional intelligence and is regularly under-utilized in instances of bad leadership. A good leader should have both empathy and sympathy towards their subordinates.

Toxic Leadership Definition

Toxic leadership refers to a style of leadership in which a person in a position of authority abuses their power, manipulates, intimidates, or undermines their subordinates, and creates a negative and harmful work environment. Toxic leaders prioritize their own interests over the well-being of their team, organization, or followers, and their actions can have detrimental effects on individuals and the overall organizational culture.

Characteristics of Toxic Leadership

There are several characteristics of toxic leadership, which may help you identify signs of a toxic leader, check them out below.

  1. Abusive behaviour: Toxic leaders may resort to verbal or emotional abuse, belittlement, and humiliation of their subordinates, eroding their self-esteem and creating a hostile environment.
  2. Lack of empathy: Toxic leaders often show a lack of understanding or concern for the needs and feelings of their team members.
  3. Micromanagement: They may excessively control and scrutinize every detail of their subordinates’ work, leading to a lack of autonomy and demotivation.
  4. Favouritism: Toxic leaders may play favourites and show preferential treatment to certain individuals, leading to resentment and division among team members.
  5. Manipulation and deception: Toxic leaders may use deceptive tactics to achieve their goals, undermining trust and honesty within the organization.
  6. Lack of accountability: They may avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes or failures, often blaming others instead.
  7. High turnover and low morale: Toxic leadership often results in a negative work environment, leading to increased employee turnover and decreased morale and productivity.
  8. Resistance to feedback: Toxic leaders may resist or ignore constructive criticism and view any challenges to their authority as threats.

It’s important to note that toxic leadership is distinct from tough or demanding leadership styles that may push individuals to excel and achieve their potential. Toxic leadership, on the other hand, inflicts long-lasting emotional and psychological harm on subordinates, impeding their growth and contributing to a toxic organizational culture.

Addressing toxic leadership is crucial for promoting a healthy work environment, fostering employee well-being, and ensuring the organization’s long-term success. Organizations need to be vigilant in identifying and addressing toxic leadership behaviours through training, and policies, and creating a culture that promotes openness, accountability, and respect.

Ways to Improve on Leadership

However, if you find yourself as a bad leader, don’t worry. There are ways to improve it, once you’ve acknowledged your shortcomings. Good and bad leadership qualities are evaluated by your peers and your subordinates, so it would be effective to ask them for advice on your performance.

Although good and bad leadership qualities are subjective, there are qualities that are predetermined. The aforementioned traits are predetermined as poor leadership qualities; they tend to decline the team’s performance. Experts suggest that if you consider yourself a bad leader, then you should look through your past performances and evaluate yourself. It is never a bad idea to self-improve and gain emotional intelligence in the process.

Improving leadership skills is a continuous journey of self-awareness, learning, and growth. Here are some effective ways to enhance your leadership abilities:

  1. Self-reflection: Take time to reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, values, and leadership style. Understand how your actions and decisions impact others and identify areas for improvement.
  2. Seek feedback: Encourage open and honest feedback from peers, subordinates, and mentors. Constructive criticism can help you understand blind spots and areas that need development.
  3. Continuous learning: Engage in leadership development programs, attend workshops, seminars, or conferences, and read books on leadership to gain new perspectives and knowledge.
  4. Develop emotional intelligence: Cultivate self-awareness, empathy, and strong interpersonal skills. Emotional intelligence is vital for understanding and connecting with others on a deeper level.
  5. Set clear goals and expectations: Define a clear vision and communicate it effectively to your team. Establish specific goals and expectations to align everyone’s efforts towards a common purpose.
  6. Lead by example: Demonstrate the values and behaviors you expect from your team. Your actions will influence the culture and behavior of those you lead.
  7. Delegate effectively: Trust your team members with tasks and responsibilities that align with their strengths. Delegating empowers others and allows you to focus on strategic matters.
  8. Communicate effectively: Develop strong communication skills to convey your ideas clearly, actively listen to others, and provide constructive feedback.
  9. Foster a positive work environment: Create a supportive and inclusive atmosphere where team members feel valued, heard, and motivated to contribute their best.
  10. Encourage innovation and creativity: Foster a culture that welcomes new ideas and encourages creative problem-solving.
  11. Handle conflicts constructively: Address conflicts openly and directly, focusing on finding resolutions that benefit the team and organization.
  12. Lead with empathy: Understand the needs and concerns of your team members and show genuine care and support for their well-being.
  13. Embrace accountability: Take responsibility for your actions and decisions. Hold yourself accountable to high standards and expect the same from others.
  14. Mentor and develop others: Invest in the growth and development of your team members. Offer guidance, coaching, and opportunities for them to expand their skills and knowledge.
  15. Adapt to change: Be flexible and adaptive in the face of changing circumstances. Embrace new challenges and lead your team through transitions effectively.

Remember that leadership development is a continuous process, and it’s essential to remain open to feedback, learn from your experiences, and adapt your approach as you grow as a leader.

Books on Leadership

If you’re on a journey to becoming a better leader, you should check out the following books on leadership. Taking the time to improve your leadership skills is already a good indication that you are on the right path and determined to present your best self and encourage the best from your team.

Check out the books on leadership to further improve your skills and leadership qualities.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Author, Stephen R. Covey. This classic book outlines seven fundamental habits that can transform individuals into effective and influential leaders in both personal and professional realms.

Leadership in War

Author Andrew Roberts. Drawing from historical examples of military leaders, this book explores the principles and characteristics of effective leadership during times of conflict.

Dare to Lead

Author, Brené Brown. Brené Brown combines her research on vulnerability and courage with practical leadership advice, offering insights on how to lead with authenticity and empathy.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

Author, Jim Collins: This book examines what sets great companies apart from their competitors and identifies key leadership principles that contribute to their success.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Author Simon Sinek. Simon Sinek explores the importance of finding and communicating the “why” behind actions and decisions, inspiring others to follow and be motivated.

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Daniel Goleman: Although not solely focused on leadership, this book highlights the significance of emotional intelligence in effective leadership and interpersonal relationships.

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

by Kim Scott: The book emphasizes the importance of direct communication and feedback in leadership, promoting a balance between care for employees and holding them accountable for their performance.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

Author, Simon Sinek. Simon Sinek discusses the role of leaders in creating a culture of trust, collaboration, and loyalty within their organizations.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink

This book delves into the science of motivation and explains how leaders can create environments that foster intrinsic motivation and higher performance.

Extreme Ownership

How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin: Written by former Navy SEALs, this book provides leadership lessons learned from intense combat situations and how they can be applied to various leadership challenges.

Remember, every leadership book offers a unique perspective, so it’s beneficial to explore various authors and ideas to find those that resonate most with your leadership style and goals.

Traits of Leadership: Good Leader VS Bad Leader

Good Leader Vs Bad Leader

The good and bad leadership qualities revolve around the person who is called the leader. Every leader faces challenges and situations every day that test their patience, skills, and mindset.

There is no magical, drama-free team. What separates a good leader VS bad leader is how they handle the challenges they face every day.

The good and bad leadership qualities are all that defines a leader, which shows just how important good and bad leadership qualities are. Good and bad leadership qualities measure a leader in both tough decisions and at a deafening lull.

A good leader should be able to make the right decision, apply accountability and be able to delegate. They should also be empowering, honest with their subordinates and encourage innovation. Finally, a good leader should be “one of the men” to understand the needs of their team.

Bad Leader Quotes

Check out some of these bad leader quotes that reflect attitudes and behaviours that are generally not conducive to effective leadership, such as lack of empathy, unwillingness to listen or learn, and an autocratic approach.

  1. “I’m the boss, do as I say.”
  2. “Failure is not an option — for you.”
  3. “Why should I care about their morale?”
  4. “I don’t pay you so that I can do your job.”
  5. “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.”
  6. “Do it because I said so.”
  7. “I don’t care how it gets done, just do it.”
  8. “I don’t need to learn anything new. I already know all I need to know.”
  9. “It’s my way or the highway.”
  10. “I don’t have time to listen to your opinion.”

Good leaders typically encourage open communication, value the input of their team members, and are willing to admit when they don’t know something or need to learn more. The above quotes typically reflect bad leadership styles, which are not productive or encouraging for a team or individual.

Good and Bad Leadership Examples

So far, we’ve mainly been speaking in the abstract. Let’s consider a scenario to flesh out our knowledge of good and bad leadership qualities. After all, this is the best way to understand the good and bad qualities needed in leaders.

Say for example you run a small team in a hardware retail business.

A new member of staff is working the checkouts. A customer is buying a large piece of gardening equipment which ships in two separate boxes, each with its own bar code. The member of staff only scans one, and the customer leaves, having only paid for half of the item.

Luckily, the customer notices the mistake, and returns to pay the difference.

As the manager, you could respond to this situation in a number of ways. One common response would be to explode at the new member of staff for carelessness and poor attention to detail. However, this would be an example of many poor leadership qualities.

For one thing, it wouldn’t be a particularly empathetic response. It would also hurt the employee’s levels of motivation, and likely lead to them covering up mistakes in future, for fear of the consequences. As such, this would be an example of very bad leadership.

By contrast, a great leader would try and take responsibility for the situation, noting that this is something the employee should have been made aware of. They could then turn the situation into a learning experience, and help to improve the employee’s motivation by offering them support and training. This also fosters a culture of transparency.

A poor leader would be a leader who is slow to change, has poor communication skills and lacks empathy. They would also lack transparency, assign blame to their inferiors, and be inconsistent in their workings. In addition, a bad leader would be the kind of person who wouldn’t ‘get their hands dirty’ and remain at the top, without looking at their team from within.

Examples of Bad Leadership in Business

Throughout history, there have been many instances of bad leadership within business practices, which can often lead to devasting consequences for founders, investors and even customers. Check out the examples below that emphasise the importance of developing good leadership skills within business dealings.

Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes was the founder and CEO of Theranos, a health technology company that claimed to have developed revolutionary blood-testing technology. However, investigations later revealed that the technology did not work as promised, and the company engaged in deceptive practices and misled investors and regulators. Holmes was eventually charged with fraud, and Theranos collapsed, causing significant financial losses for investors and raising serious ethical concerns.

Nokia and Stephen Elop

Stephen Elop was the CEO of Nokia during a critical period when the company was struggling to compete in the smartphone market. Instead of leveraging the company’s existing strengths, Elop decided to adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, effectively abandoning Nokia’s own Symbian platform. This decision proved to be disastrous for Nokia, as it struggled to gain traction in the smartphone market and eventually sold its handset division to Microsoft.

Kodak and Antonio Perez

Antonio Perez served as the CEO of Kodak during a time when the company was facing significant challenges due to the rise of digital photography. Despite early warnings about the importance of embracing digital technology, Kodak failed to adapt, sticking with its film-based business model. This reluctance to innovate ultimately led to the company’s decline and bankruptcy.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and BP’s Leadership

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, operated by BP, suffered a catastrophic blowout, causing one of the largest environmental disasters in history. BP’s leadership was criticized for prioritizing cost-cutting over safety, leading to a series of poor decisions that contributed to the disaster and the subsequent massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Boeing 737 Max Crisis

Boeing’s leadership faced intense scrutiny following two deadly crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max aircraft in 2018 and 2019. The crashes were attributed to a faulty software system known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) and revealed issues with the company’s safety culture and regulatory oversight.

The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

Volkswagen’s leadership was embroiled in a massive scandal in 2015 when it was discovered that the company had installed software in its diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests. This deliberate deception resulted in higher pollution levels than permitted and led to significant financial penalties, damaged the company’s reputation, and affected the environment.

These stories of bad leadership underscore the importance of ethical decision-making, accountability, and the need for leaders to prioritize the well-being of their employees, customers, and the broader community over short-term gains. Business leaders need to develop strong leadership skills in order to protect the business and other stakeholders.

If you’re interested in hearing more tales of leadership within business, be sure to check out 12 Best Business Podcasts and the Best Business Movies.

Good Leaders in History

There have been numerous great leaders throughout history who have made significant positive impacts on their countries and the world. Here are some notable examples:

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

The leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule, Gandhi employed nonviolent civil disobedience to achieve social and political change. His teachings on peaceful resistance and self-reliance inspired people worldwide and played a crucial role in India’s independence.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who became the country’s first black president and one of the most renowned leaders in the world. He led the fight against racial segregation and discrimination, promoting reconciliation and unity in a divided nation.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The 16th President of the United States, Lincoln is widely regarded as one of the greatest American leaders. He successfully navigated the country through the Civil War, preserved the Union, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, leading to the abolition of slavery.

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

An influential civil rights leader in the United States, King advocated for nonviolent activism to combat racial segregation and discrimination. His efforts were instrumental in advancing the civil rights movement and promoting equality and justice.

Joan of Arc (1412-1431)

A young French peasant girl who led the French army during the Hundred Years’ War, Joan of Arc played a pivotal role in turning the tide in favour of France and crowning Charles VII as king.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other exceptional leaders who have positively influenced the course of history in various fields and contexts.

Good Leadership Quotes

Leadership quotes often encapsulate timeless wisdom and insights into what makes a great leader. Here are some inspiring leadership quotes:

  1. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
  2. “Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge.” – Simon Sinek
  3. “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan
  4. “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold H. Glasow
  5. “Leadership is not about being the best. It is about making everyone else better.” – Bill Gates
  6. “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader
  7. “The leader’s job is to see the best in human beings who have never caught sight of the best within themselves.” – Robin Sharma
  8. “Leadership is not about being fearless. It’s about making the decision to proceed in spite of your fears.” – Mark Divine
  9. “Leadership is not about being in control. It is about serving others and empowering them to be their best.” – Ken Blanchard
  10. “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.” – Douglas MacArthur
  11. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis
  12. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  13. “Leadership is not just what happens when you’re there, it’s what happens when you’re not.” – Ken Blanchard
  14. “The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill
  15. “You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” – Ken Kesey

These quotes remind us of the essence of leadership, which involves inspiring, serving, empowering, and guiding others towards a shared vision and common goals.

How to Avoid Bad Leadership Traits

In conclusion, if you’re a good leader, there is always room for improvement. You can always try to push your potential as a leader to the fullest.

Consider even developing other leadership skills to improve yourself as a leader. If you’re a bad leader, then you’ll always be able to start fresh and fix your mistakes.

As a leader, you will have your actions and your subordinates’ actions under your responsibility. You must acknowledge the mistakes you’ve been making, and start improving the most important traits for your team.

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