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Companies know that poor leaders exist, but not all companies are great at identifying weak or truly bad leaders. Leaders play a large role in businesses that thrive in the long run, so it’s essential that companies find leadership candidates that possess certain qualities and avoid the ones that lack critical know-how. Here are a few ways that you can spot a bad leader.
They Take Credit and Give Blame
The best leaders are quick to take responsibility when things go wrong, and they’re also quick to give praise to their team when the company is doing well. When employees feel blamed for things that they don’t feel in control of, they feel disheartened. Consequently, their motivation flags. The worst leaders fail to take responsibility when they make a mistake, and they take credit when things go well.
They Get Complacent
When the company is headed in the right direction, it’s easy to take the easy route, but this doesn’t always help the bottom line in the future. Most industries are highly competitive, and those that want to stay ahead of the curve need to be on the forefront of making the future. This means that business leader can’t assume that the same products and services will always hit the market. Leaders need to continually strive to reach higher with the goods that they produce. Poor leaders squander opportunity with laziness.
They Lack Communication Skills
Poor leaders lack the ability to communicate with others. This might be a lack of the ability to communicate with their subordinates, their peers at work, or business leaders of other companies. Truly effective leadership has the ability to communicate and inspire others through a wide range of mediums. Poor leaders are often misunderstood, leading their employees in the wrong direction. If a leader finds themselves constantly frustrated by employees who can’t follow direction, it’s possible that the leader has an inability to say what they want in a way that makes sense to employees. They might also be saying things in a way that, rather than inspiring confidence, actually inspires distrust, leading employees to wonder if the company is going in the right direction.
Unfortunately, many businesses are lacking the leadership needed to propel their companies forward. Spotting the truly bad leaders and removing them from their positions is sometimes the only way to move a company forward.
It is one thing to successfully run a business, but it is totally different to run a successful business consciously. The leaders that appear on the list below have succeeded at running businesses consciously and have been selected by a panel of nine reputable judges as some of the top conscious business leaders in the world.
- Chip Conley, 57
Conley is recognized on this list for earning the lifetime achievement award. Chip Conley is the Strategic Advisor for Hospitality & Leadership at Airbnb in San Francisco, CA. He is a well-recognized author, entrepreneur, and leader. The judges note that Conley has an understanding of how to spiritually run a business that experiences success.
- Tara-Nicholle Nelson, 42
Nelson is the Founder & CEO of SoulTour in Oakland, CA. She became pregnant at the mere age of sixteen, but did not let that stop her from pursuing a college education. Nelson went on to pursue a Master’s degree, write a book, and become a realtor and tv personality. Now she has founded SoulTour, which is a personal-growth school and spiritual community that helps leaders discover themselves.
- Dan Price, 34
Dan Price is the Founder & CEO of Gravity Payments in Seattle, WA. Price gained global attention when he announced he was cutting his own salary ($1 million) to $70,000 in order to create a $70,000 minimum salary for each of the employees at Gravity Payments at the time.. Price is also revolutionizing workplace norms. There are no private offices at Gravity Payments and any employee is allowed to pop into any meeting at any time.
- Susan Griffin-Black, 62
Susan Griffin-Black is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of EO Products in San Rafael, CA. Her cosmetic business started in her garage in 1995 and has since expanded to more than 150 employees. Griffin-Black is widely celebrated for the way she treats her employees. All employees receive the same benefits, regardless of their rank within the company. EO Products also offers subsidized education funds for employees who wish to further their education, yoga classes at work, and healthy snacks in the office.
- Celeste Mergens, 56
Mergens is the Founder & CEO of Days for Girls International in Bellingham, WA. She is working to improve access to menstrual health care for girls around the world that would otherwise not receive care. Celeste Mergens strives to break the stigma frequently associated with the menstrual cycle. Her humility has helped her establish 70 micro-businesses in 15 different countries with more than 800 volunteer chapters, teams, and clubs.
Effective leaders create an environment that promotes a culture of accountability, trust, and respect. While many leaders around the world possess their own unique leadership style that serves them well personally, ethical leaders create a culture that is both functional and practical as a whole. The concept of ethics refers to the system of morals that govern a person’s actions. When it comes to business leadership, they are capable of completely altering the company dynamic in a positive way. To become a more ethical leader, practice engaging in the following:
If you are going to build your reputation on a strong set of ethics, you are also going to want to stand behind them. Identify your core principles and morals, then be prepared to communicate them with your team. Just remember to be respectful in your messaging.
Every individual at every company has a diverse set of beliefs, customs, and principles that guide their behaviors and actions. Do not allow your personal ethical values to interfere with the personal values of a team member or employee, but be clear about which standards apply specifically to your business. These should be non-negotiable.
Permit your employees to voice their opinions on the ethical standards of your company in order to identify conflicts of interest and consistently evaluate the need for ethical adjustments. Any boss or dictator can determine what takes place without considering a second opinion. However, a forum where all opinions are welcome can increase productivity and improve your capabilities as an ethical leader.
Stay Away From Bias
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a leader to conduct business according to their own agenda. This may seem acceptable if a leader knows that he or she has access to information that his or her team members do not, but it can create biases that drive a wedge between employers and employees.
The problem occurs when a leader’s internalized belief system takes precedence over the best interests of the company, thereby creating an unconscious bias that rears its head during any decision making process. Ethical leaders recognize their own biases and acknowledge their shortcomings. They work diligently to improve upon those flaws in a manner that is consistent with company values.
Hire Those Who Have Similar Beliefs
Let me preface this section by saying that when I refer to beliefs, I am specifically referring to the moral and ethical guidelines of an individual and/or company. This section is not intended to discourage inclusion or diversity.
The reality of business is that successful teams create successful companies, and successful teams often consist of cohesive team members. It is difficult to create this cohesiveness if every employee operates under a conflicting set or ethical guidelines. It is important for the vitality and longevity of your company that you hire individuals with a similar set of ethical principles in order to avoid such conflict. There can certainly be differences in opinion. In fact, they are expected. But hiring with ethics in mind should help you avoid confrontational disasters.
About Jason William Kumpf
Jason William Kumpf has worked in international business for over a decade. With involvement in global real estate sectors, the expat sector, ecommerce, and finance, it is safe to say that Jason William Kumpf is a well-rounded businessman. By having a hand in multiple sectors of various international and national markets, Jason has built an incredible network of global professionals that include recognizable Fortune 500 companies as well as young, burgeoning startups.
Jason William Kumpf is Co-Chairman for an international California Trade and Business Networked called Cal Trade. To expand his reach, he also serves on the Young Members Board for FIABCI International Real Estate Foundation, a French entity with active chapters in 48 different countries. In addition to these positions, Kumpf is the Director of Alliance Partnerships at USForex Inc which works toward creating better exchange rates for several international ecommerce markets. Similarly, Jason William Kumpf is the Director of Partnerships at OFX, also in the international currency exchange rate industry, working towards the acquiring the best exchange rates available for his international clients.
In addition to Jason’s work internationally in the foreign exchange markets, he has also taken a great interest in tech startups. He has a passion for taking an outside look at complex issues and creating tangible solutions to better the overall structure of a new company. Because of his extensive training in a wide range of industries, and because of his energetic and positive spirit, Jason William Kumpf is able to not only craft great business strategy but motivate his teams as well.
Having spent nearly 20 years studying abroad and working internationally, Jason William Kumpf has seen many sides of business, negotiating, and leadership. For this reason, he feels it is incredibly important that he pass on the information he’s gained over the years to those looking to grow within the international exchange rate markets. Having a strong leadership style is valuable, but having the ability to adapt that leadership style to meet the needs of any market you’re working in is a priceless skill that will take anyone with the right drive far in life. Jason William Kumpf hopes to inspire some of this leadership in a new generation of young and talented industry members.
As Jason William Kumpf enters the next stage of his career, he looks towards opening new doors for leadership training and business strategy opportunities. If you’re a young tech startup or just looking for some leadership style advice, Jason William Kumpf’s new blog will act as a great resource. Without sharing what works, progress cannot be made, and Jason William Kumpf is dedicated to not only continuing a successful career for himself, but to see this reality happen for others.
For updates on Jason William Kumpf, be sure to check back often as new blog content will be added regularly.