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20 Habits of Untrustworthy Leaders

It takes more than good character to be a trustworthy leader. Don’t trust leaders who can’t get the job done, even if they are wonderful people.

An incompetent leader—who tells the truth—is an untrustworthy leader.

7 sources of untrustworthy leadership:

1. Inexperience

2. Ignorance

3. Neglect

4. Incompetence

5. Selfish intent

6. Lack of character

7. Immaturity

Untrustworthy leaders:

1. Don’t trust themselves. They change their mind when they should stay the course.

2. Minimize difficulties.

3. Don’t know when to quit or change course. They lead into dead ends and failure.

4. Run around with their finger in the air, seeing which way the wind blows. There’s a difference between listening to follow and listening to lead.

5. Dangle carrots. They promise promotions but don’t deliver, for example.

6. Lack compassion.

7. Are ungrateful and bitter.

8. Never apologize.

9. Lack emotional control.

10. Don’t trust others.

11. Keep you guessing about what they really want.

12. Lack transparency and candor. Don’t trust leaders who won’t tell you what they think.

13. Get lost in the weeds and lose sight of long-term goals and purpose.

14. Disconnect. Don’t trust isolated leaders who keep others at arms-length.

15. Bury their head in the sand. Don’t trust leaders who won’t confront brutal facts.

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Dan Rockwell’s leadership career began with a leadership position as a Youth Pastor at the age of nineteen. His experience, over thirty-five years, includes business ownership and fifteen years as a Workforce Development Consultant for a regional Penn State Special Affiliate. The Leadership Freak blog was born out of Dan’s personal frustration with his own leadership journey. Today, Leadership Freak is read in virtually every country on the globe and was recognized as the most socially-shared leadership blog of 2012 and 2013. INC.com recognized Dan as one of the top 50 leadership and management experts in the English speaking world (2014). Currently, Dan coaches leaders, consults with organizations, and delivers corporate and community presentation.