Are You a Bad Boss? 10 Crappy CEO Behaviors to Curb

Here are ten CEO behaviors to curb, immediately and ensure you're not standing in the way of anyone's happy place.

6. Lack of Vision

Every successful business starts with a vision; a small idea that developed into something great. After seeing where they wanted to take their idea, successful entrepreneurs were then able to figure out how they planned on getting there. A leader with no vision wanders in the dark—and takes their team with them.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.” – Hellen Keller

Entrepreneur Michael Hyatt explains, “Vision always comes first. Always. If you have a clear vision, you will eventually attract the right strategy. If you don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save you.” If you lack a clear vision, dedicate time and energy to develop a clear vision for your company.


7. Uncertainty

“If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life,” said activist Marcus Garvey. When you lack confidence in yourself as a leader, you make it extremely difficult for others to believe in you. “Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows,” according to writer Francisco Dao in an Inc.com post. “… leadership is about having the confidence to make decisions. If someone is afraid to make and commit to decisions, all of the communication and empowerment in the world won’t make a squat of difference.”


8. Arrogance

Arrogance is a formula for leadership failure. “Although arrogance is conceptually related to personality characteristics like narcissism, hubris, and confidence, there are important distinctions that set arrogance apart from these other traits,” according to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. “Narcissism (or self-love) involves fantasies of self-grandeur and excessive self-admiration that can occur in the absence of others. Arrogance, on the other hand, is manifested in interpersonal contexts by disparaging others.”

While it is important for leaders to have confidence, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Do you view yourself as being above your employees or co-founders? If so, that type of behavior — stemming from an arrogant viewpoint — is a surefire way to lose respect, create a poisonous workplace environment and decrease your overall effectiveness. Instead, practice humility and when in doubt, uplift your team instead of tearing them down.


9. Poor Communication

Motivational speaker and founder of the Success Motivation Institute, Paul J. Meyer insists that communication is “the human connection; the key to personal and career success.” Communication can make or break the success of an individual or team. And leaders that lack the ability to effectively communicate goals and expectations, either written or verbally, tend to perform worse than those who do not. Good ideas can be lost or misinterpreted due to bad communication.

Instead, engage in more conversations with your team. Take a second look at your internal communications (i.e. email, phone calls, group meetings, brainstorm sessions) — is the point you’re trying to get across clear and concise? Focus on the effectiveness of what you’re saying, rather than worrying about “sounding” a certain way.


10. No Sense of Humor

Laughter is one of the best ways to stay sane, release stress, and connect with people. As author Hugh Sidey once said, “A sense of humor is a needed armor … Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that a person deep down has a pretty good grasp of life.”

Do you take yourself too seriously? It’s okay to laugh at yourself, and even jokingly laugh with others. It opens doors of trust and empowers your employees to become more open with you.

Contributing Writer: Olivia Campbell


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