top of page

Life and Leadership Blog

JSC Logo-62.png

Ten Ways Ineffective Leaders Attract Ineffective Team Members

Ten Ways Ineffective Leaders Attract Ineffective Team Members

A team's success and output are directly related to the quality of its leadership. However, ineffective leaders attract ineffective team members when they display negative attributes or engage in damaging actions. Most Ineffective leaders aren't ineffective on purpose, they just have not yet purposely taken the steps to learn how to be more effective.

Learn the top ten characteristics shared by ineffective leaders that make their teams so unproductive. Leaders can learn from these trends to improve their own performance and foster an environment where talented people want to work.

1. Not providing a clear vision and direction for the team is a common failing of poor leaders. Because of this fuzziness, team members are less likely to put out their best effort. Leaders who don't establish a clear direction attract incompetent team members since they can let them off the hook and avoid contributing.

2. Subpar Communication: Ineffective communication undermines the progress of any group. The inability to effectively convey ideas to team members is a hallmark of ineffective leadership. Bad team members are drawn to leaders who are unable to clearly communicate expectations, feedback, or crucial information because it gives them room to manipulate circumstances and sow discord.

3. A failure to accept responsibility for one's own actions and choices is a hallmark of poor leadership. They make excuses for themselves or cast the finger at others, leading to an atmosphere of blame and mistrust. Bad team members are drawn to leaders who aren't accountable because it gives them a free pass to act badly without fear of repercussions.

4. Leaders who play favorites within the team create an atmosphere of distrust and disharmony. When certain people are given special treatment at the expense of others, it breeds resentment and erodes trust. Bad team members are drawn to leaders who show favoritism because it gives them an opening to take advantage of the situation and advance their own interests.

5. Failure to Understand and Address Team Members' Needs and Concerns Leaders who lack empathy are less likely to do either. The workplace becomes icy and unsupportive due to this lack of compassion. Leaders that are emotionally distant recruit bad team members because they may act badly knowing there will be no penalties from the boss.

6. Leaders that micromanage their teams erode morale and make it difficult for employees to make decisions on their own. Employees' inventiveness and morale plummet when their supervisors are always hovering over their shoulders and analyzing their every move. Micromanagers recruit incompetent team members because they can use their authority and influence to mask their own shortcomings.

7. Leadership that isn't open and honest breeds an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion. Withholding key facts can fuel speculation and mistrust. Bad team members are drawn to leaders who are secretive because it allows them room to propagate rumors, organize rival groups, and otherwise use the system to their own benefit.

8. Leaders whose decisions are all over the place leave their teams bewildered and frustrated. Lack of stability and trust are the results of a lack of commitment to the same set of standards and expectations. Leaders that are indecisive attract bad team members who can take advantage of the anarchy and openings in the system.

9. Toxic Behavior: A common trait among ineffective leaders is their own participation in negative interactions with team members. This is a bad example to set and leads to an unpleasant atmosphere at work. Leaders who are toxic attract bad team members because they give them license to act similarly and support their own negative traits.

10. Ineffective leaders are those who don't put any effort into bettering themselves as people and as leaders. They stop learning and improving, which is bad for the team as a whole. Bad team members are drawn to leaders who don't put forth the effort to better themselves, since they can take advantage of those deficiencies to continue performing poorly themselves.

A team's dynamics and its eventual performance are heavily influenced by its leadership. However, poor leaders, due to their own shortcomings, tend to recruit similarly poor team members. Underperforming and toxic people are drawn to environments with a lack of vision and direction, poor communication, avoidance of accountability, favoritism, a lack of empathy, micromanagement, a lack of transparency, inconsistent decision making, toxic behavior, and a lack of personal development.

Leaders who are aware of and willing to address their own flaws can break this pattern. Leaders can create an environment that attracts high-performing and positive team members by providing a clear vision, fostering open and effective communication, embracing accountability, treating all team members fairly, cultivating empathy, empowering autonomy, practicing transparency, making consistent and well-informed decisions, promoting a positive and respectful work environment, and investing in personal development.

Leaders can increase their effectiveness and foster an atmosphere where their teams' members can flourish by, among other things, soliciting input from team members, taking part in leadership development programs, and working to better oneself.

Leaders have to own up to their flaws and make adjustments if they want to change the culture of their teams. Leaders may foster a culture that attracts and maintains high-performing team members by reflecting on and working to improve their own leadership practices. This, in turn, boosts productivity, cooperation, and success.

My passion is team design, building ordinary businesses, by developing ordinary people into extrordinary leaders that run extrodinary businesses.

Joel Smith


34 views0 comments


bottom of page