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How To Effective Identify Bad Leadership In An Organization - NU Leadership Series

�Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."
Warren G. Bennis

Leader, are you going to meet your organizational goals? Are you looking for a "silver bullet" solution? Your organization won't be successful without good leadership. You can purchase better equipment or introduce a new process. However, your situation won't improve until you have effective leadership.

What is leadership? There are a variety of leadership definitions. For this article, leadership is defined as the ability to influence people to support a specific goal. Leadership is not about being the boss or manipulating people for personal gain. Do you know bad leadership when you see
it? The following actions describe a very bad leader:

� taking advantage of employees;
� guiding others in an unethical way;
� talking down to employees;
� failing to communicate to others;
� maintaining an uncaring and unsympathetic attitude; and
� taking actions solely for personal gain.

Does this description fit your management? Well, many of these behaviors cause employees to leave. It also creates the right climate for running a company out of business. Definitions abound on management techniques to solve this problem, but it starts with good leadership.

Draft, the author of Organization Theory and Design, argues that the right leadership can have a substantial impact on an organization, however. Bad leaders are often takers in the secular world. President Dwight D. Eisenhower once stated, �You do not lead by hitting people over the head�that�s assault, not leadership.�

On the contrary, good leaders provide a sense of heaven on earth. In Calvin Miller's book, The Empowered Leader, the servant leader is seen through the life of King David. Miller explains, "Servant leaders are task-centered�Because they feel inadequate, they seek to look beyond themselves for answers."
Servant leadership is not a new idea.

Much of this concept is grounded in a religious concept. In the Bible, Jesus Christ explains to his disciples, ". . . the greatest among you should be like the youngest and the one who rules like the one who serves..." According to Dr. Bruce Winston, author of Be a Leader for God's Sake, good leaders are accountable to their followers.

I have seen great managers during my professional career, but few great leaders. Dynamic leadership is difficult to measure for most organizations. However, organizations can't afford to not have them. Organizations should be concerned. It's their business. Start today!


Daft, R. (1995). Organization Theory and Design. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company.

Miller, C. (1995). The Empowered Leader. United States of America: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Winston, B. (2002). Be a Leader for God's Sake. Virginia Beach, VA. Regent University.

Submitted by:

Daryl D Green

Daryl D. Green has published over 100 articles in the field of decision-making and leadership. Mr. Green is an author of several books, including More Than A Conqueror. He has been noted in USA Today and AP. For one free coaching session ($50 value), you can email him at http://www.darylgreen.org.


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