Are You a Bad Boss? 6 Tips to Help You Lead with Compassion

Leadership is not a role but a state of being, and your primary objective is to serve others.

Yet there are those who may not be best suited for leadership.

Some leaders are simply ineffective and inconsequential. Others don’t communicate well, and still others exhibit “bad” behavior and are allowed to get away with it.

As we have been highlighting in some of my latest blogs, the old-school style of command-and-control leadership is a thing of the past. Leaders who subscribe to this style of leading typically have outdated perspectives, and frankly might not be suited for leadership.  

Conversely, effective, and successful leaders are honest, compassionate, communicative, self-aware, and are emotionally intelligent. They have the ability to inspire others by helping people first as individuals, then as teams, which contributes positively to the bottom line. They also understand and value both cognitive and behavioral diversity and are inclusive in their style of leadership.  

To lead in a manner that encompasses empathy, you have to hone that soft skill, which can only be done if you genuinely care, and by focusing on being self-aware and mindful in your interactions with others.

I have observed bad bosses rise to levels of empowering and inspiring leadership because they desired to make that shift and do the work.  Leadership is an inside out job and it starts with you, so let’s unpack what it means to be an empathetic leader who empowers others.

How to Be a Kind, Compassionate and Effective Leader

The conditions that create poor leadership still exist within many organizational cultures, so it’s up to you to change the way leadership is approached within yours. This is more important now than ever before so let’s take a step back and look at the following:

#1 — Be Mindful of the Company You Keep

Just as negativity can attract more negativity, positivity can do the same. If you want to avoid becoming a bad leader, surround yourself with people who exemplify the positive traits you want to instill within your leadership style. 

#2 — Practice an Attitude of Gratitude

If you have achieved the position of leadership, no matter how junior or senior, be grateful for being given the chance to influence others in meaningful ways. Serving and supporting others is an honor, so show your people that you don’t take your role for granted, and they will show up for you.

#3 — Take Drama Out of the Equation

If you typically complain or are short with people, you are infusing an atmosphere that works against everyone in the organization. Instead, learn to set an example in your positive actions and behaviors. If that means getting some executive coaching to iron out those rough edges, it will be worth your time.

#4 — Seek Balance in All Your Activities

Your ability to lead effectively is enhanced when you have a rich full life away from work. Are you spending enough quality time with family and friends? Are you cultivating interests outside of your professional life? Avoiding balance can lead to exhaustion, under performance and negative behaviors, which, in turn, impacts performance and engagement for everyone else around you.

#5 — Slow Down!

We are working at a phenomenal pace now. If you’re constantly in a hurry, you are likely short-changing conversations and skimming through material that needs deeper attention. This is where delegation is a great tool to lean on. But more importantly what is your attitude when everything is a little frenzied and stressful?  Your people will still be motivated to work when under pressure if negative pressure isn’t coming from you. And yes, you can get things done with a positive attitude even when you’re against the clock!

#6 — Practice Mindful Attention and Stop Multi-Tasking

Multitasking may seem like a great way to tackle your To-Do list, but it’s actually a recipe for ineffective leadership. It may seem like you’ve got it all under control, but if you are not giving enough focus where it’s needed, your work will suffer, as will the work of your teams. That’s why being mindful is a huge differentiator, not only to your leadership style, but to you as a person. When you are being mindful and living in the present moment, you will not allow your focus to be split and it sends the message that you respect those that you are with, in person or virtually.

What Attitude Do You Have Around Leading Your Team?

Are you guilty of being a bad leader or are you afraid that you might be heading that way? I know it can be tough out there, so if you are challenged, we can offer valuable insights to help you move forward with more confidence and vitality.

Please reach out to me at by calling 1.855.871.3374 or send me an email at I look forward to connecting with you!

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