Q: Who are some bad leaders?

Question: Who are some examples of bad leaders?


Answer (from Robert Ogilvie):

Overall, I could name off bad leaders… narcissistic celebrities, warmonger politicians, exploitative tyrannical C-level execs, bullies and racists who use their resources to further divisive agendas, on and on. More specifically, it’s more valuable (as Leadership Development) to see the strengths and gap areas of various leaders clearly- to then better understand the environment and strategic situation they thrive in.


Elon Musk is a brilliant Technology Designer- but a rude asshole that treats his people poorly. Perfect for new cutting edge products, horrible for developing people and teams. Marissa Meyers is a very precise person who wants to sign off on everything- which is great for a CFO who needs to be fiscally precise but is also then a micromanager and has totally unrealistic expectations for others given her 130-hour work weeks. Richard Branson is a big picture thinker and salesman who now has enough money to do his new ideas, but I’m sure an aloof project planner and relies on teams of experts to execute.


Look up Simon Sinek’s work. We view leaders as bad when they don’t act on behalf of the group, when they sacrifice others, when they spread fear and mistrust, etc. If your aim is, “How do I build a great team”, there are steps that need to happen and known barriers to overcome. EX: see Pat Lencioni’s “5 Behaviours” work on team dysfunctions



I also really like, and primarily would recommend, the Drexler Sibbet Team Performance model. It uses 7 stages and 4 lines/areas of challenges to assess and direct team performance.



In Summary:

  • We can all think of many examples of bad leaders. We regard leaders as “bad” when they, in many different ways, do not act on behalf of the group and thus has mis-used their station/position and group status.
  • Being a good leader is about knowing your strengths and gaps and then finding areas where those strengths can really shine. There is no single “magic leader”.
  • On the team end of how to operate within a team or why certain leaders can’t seem to get progress, consider looking at Team models like Lencioni’s “5 Behaviors” or Drexler Sibbet “Team Performance Model”

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