People are hungry for leadership. Even though there’s more work-life autonomy, the sheer rising number crisis psychology leads people looking up searching for the next leader that can guide us through it all. Yet despite the mushrooming number of look-at-me personalities, there’s very few who are genuine leaders worth of attention. The rest fail miserably and here’s why:

  • Short-sighted. Failed ‘leaders’ usually confuse leadership with management. A manager is more concerned with compliance. A leader is more concerned with direction. Unfortunately, leadership roles also rear a hydra of arrogance, elitism, machismo attitudes. However in light of today’s evolving work-life climate, there’s simply no room for such sentiment.
  • Complainers. There are failed leaders and then there people who never even get to fail. The latter complain that there’s no sky-rocking moment they were hailed into a leadership role. These are the entrepreneurial couch potatoes that complain about would be’s and could be’s. As best-selling author Les McKeown phrases it, “leaders aren’t created upon arrival in a position. Leaders are recognized as such, then placed in a position of leadership.”
  • Meek. As Les points out, these types also feel like the need permission to be a leader, which is a totally defeatist attitude and the hallmark of a failed leader. Leaders don’t ask. Leaders do. Insightfully, he brings up another hindrance to realizing your leadership potential and that’s an inability to find a role model. The fact is that you shouldn’t wait for a role model, particularly because sometimes you’ll never find one. Sometimes, you’ll have to pave the way and if you’re fortunate enough to do this, you’ll sky-rocket to success before you can even blink.
  • Party of One. Leaders don’t listen. They interrupters, never finishing to listen to what someone else has to say – highlighting a conceit that shows they think no one else has anything to say that’s as important as what they want to say. They’re the quintessential party of one; nobody wants to be with them and they don’t want to work with anyone else. Sure they might hire a team and delegate work, but the “Party of One” failed leaders doesn’t share. They keep their cards close to their chest.
  • Talkers. The mark of a timid and weak personality is he who cannot stay quiet. Business sharks use these types of chump meat, since leaders afraid of uncomfortable silences will always blurt out something regrettable. As Les points out, a true leader is comfortable with silence.
  • Stay the Course. Leaders will hash out ideas but once a team as decided the course of direction; true leaders will stay the course. Failed leaders will plot and manipulate to get their way, or engage in other subversive efforts.
  • Guilt-Free. Real leaders feel guilt, whereas failed leaders don’t take personal responsibility for any adverse business maneuvers. As Becky Schaumber, a doctoral candidate at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business points out, “‘Guilt-prone individuals are really sensitive to their obligations, so they follow through on those duties.’” She also notes the difference between guilt and shame, citing that feelings of guilt lead to behavior seeking to correct a course whereas shame is very self-focused.
    Remember that being a leader isn’t just about saying you are. Being busy, posting tons of cool Instagram pics of you in social and entrepreneurial settings also doesn’t cut it. Being a leader is about what you bring to the table. If you don’t bring anything of value, please move over.