Clueless Leaders – Many Organizations are Notorious for Picking– Incompetent, Arrogant, Dysfunctional Leaders.

Clueless leaders are like dirty socks, even though you really don’t want them around but you still keep them around, until the odor becomes too unbearable. Have you ever been told about or experienced a decision made by a leader and asked: Is that ‘leader’ on stupid pills? Or, have you ever asked: How could a ‘leader’ be so much out of touch? These types of leaders are clueless– they just don’t have any ‘clue’ about how things really work in their organizations…

Well you are not alone: According to Hagberg; many leaders make decisions with a highly distorted view of what’s really going on in an organization… And unfortunately many organizations hold onto these clueless leaders far too long to point of; disaster, destruction… Maybe this sounds a little too dramatic but clueless leaders have some very bad traits, e.g.; lack empathy, don’t listen, resist change, too bossy, wishy-washy, poor decisions… According to Abraham Lincoln; nearly everyone can stand adversity but if you want to test someones character, give them power…

 In the article Organizations from Hell: When Leaders Fails by Ronald E Riggio writes: Most dysfunctional organizations have big issues at the top; they have leaders that are clueless; they cause unnecessary disruption, they are unable to define a vision, they lack the insight to develop a productive workforce, they are unaware of the toxicity in their own organization… Clueless leaders are hoarders; they refuse to share power, delegation responsibility. The ability to wisely, effectively delegate is crucial for success– effective delegation is one of the keys to achieving goals…

A leader who insists on maintaining all control and full authority is insecure and actually fails to even meet the definition of a leader. A leader is an executive, a person who manages time, resources, people… A leader does not do everything themselves, they work to marshals all of these elements on a pathway to success… Many clueless leaders are byproduct of the Peter Principle, i.e.; people move up chain of command until they reach their level of incompetence. Although research has not established existence of the Peter Principle, in some organizations this does indeed happen…

In the book Why Business Leaders Fail by Sydney Finkelstein writes: Why do high-flying organizations fail… It turns out many leaders at failing or failed organizations are clueless; and often they have they have common habits-traits… and these traits are early warning signs:

  • Think they are fully in control: Leaders who vastly overestimate the extent to which they actually control events and vastly underestimate the role of chance and circumstance in success… Leaders who fall prey to this belief suffer from the illusion of personal preeminence…
  • Think they have all the answers: Leaders who are invariably crisp and decisive tend to settle issues so quickly that they have, in many situations, no opportunity to grasp the full ramifications. Worse, these leaders need to feel they have all the answers and they aren’t open to learning new ones…
  • Ruthlessly eliminate anyone who doesn’t get with the plan: Leaders who eliminate all dissent, contrasting views… cut themselves off from the best chance of seeing, correcting problems… Sometimes leaders who seek to stifle dissent only drive it underground. Once this happens, the entire organization is in jeopardy…
  • Stubbornly rely on what worked in the past: Leaders who revert to what they regard as tried-and-true methods, often cling to static, out-dated business model. They insist on engaging markets that no longer exists, or they fail to consider innovations in areas other than those that made their organization successful, in the past… Instead of considering options that fit new circumstances, their only point of reference are things that succeeded in the past…

In the article Distorted Views of Many Leaders by Dr. Hagberg write: Leaders live in a bubble and have special privileges and power due to their unique role… However, most fail to recognize consequences of their position’s power… Leaders are often out-of-touch with how their own behavior impacts the organization, and how it’s being interpreted by employees and other stakeholders… They fail to realize the extent to which they unconsciously shape organization’s culture. However, with power comes the potential for isolation and insulation…

Leaders who are not getting continuous, accurate information about an organization’s culture, values, attitudes, morale… have the potential to suffer distortions in perspective, which can negatively impact the quality of their decisions. A distorted view from the leaders can ultimately prove fatal. According to Gallup; only one-in-five (18%) leaders demonstrate a high-level of attitude for leadership, while another two-in-ten (20%) show a basic talent for it…

This means that many organizations are missing-the-mark, 82% of the time, clueless or near-clueless leaders are hired… According to Mike Myatt; because someone holds a position of leadership doesn’t necessarily mean they should; not all leaders are created equal… The problem many organizations seem to suffer is one of recognition; they can’t seem to recognize good leaders from clueless ones…

The basic flaw and inefficiency in picking leaders costs hundreds of billions of dollars, annually… It’s common practice for organizations to promote from within because– these are loyal people who paid their dues… because they supposedly earned it, deserve it… rather than because they have the talent for it… Many organizations waste a lot– time, energy, resources… hiring clueless leaders– either from within or outside the organization– then they attempt to train them to be who they are not. Nothing fixes– clueless leaders…