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HBR: The Ten Traits of Terrible Leaders

What do bad "leaders" have in common? In its June issue, Harvard Business Review spells out some common characteristics.
  1. Lack energy and enthusiasm.
  2. Accept their own mediocre performance.
  3. Lack clear vision and direction.
  4. Have poor judgment.
  5. Don't collaborate.
  6. Don't walk the talk.
  7. Resist new ideas.
  8. Don't learn from mistakes.
  9. Lack interpersonal skills.
  10. Fail to develop others.
What's interesting reading this list is that any one of these characteristics, in big enough doses, can ruin a perfectly fine executive. We all know potentially excellent managers with an Achilles heel that undermined performance and credibility. It's the boss who is a master budgeteer, insightful mentor and master strategist -- but gets eyes rolling every Thursday as he departs for his 2:30 tee time.

The one trait I hadn't thought much about is No. 1, energy and enthusiasm. But it's true that my favorite and most effective supervisors over the years were those who could fire up a staff with their genuine passion for the work. Meanwhile, a going-through-the-motions boss can transform a bright 100-watt beacon into a flickering dim bulb just by walking into a room.

What traits do you think go into making a mediocre (or worse) manager?

For more details, read the full HBR article ($4.50) on the Ten Fatal Flaws That Derail Leaders.