1. You do not look in the mirror regularly.
- I am certainly not referring to vanity. Instead, I am suggesting that it is a sign you might be a bad leader if you do not take the opportunity to regularly get feedback on how you are doing. A good leader seeks honest feedback on his performance from his supervision, peers, and direct reports.
You are not a good leader if you assume all is good and ignore opportunities to hear constructive criticism. (Proverbs 13:10; 15:12)
2. You are the smartest one in your company.
- A good leader certainly needs to be smart. It is a great advantage for a leader to be able to keep up with the intellectual demands of the job.
However, you are not a good leader if you think you must be the smartest one on your team or in your company. Only hiring those that you feel are not as smart as you are will only cause you to miss out on a wealth of ideas and synergy that could result from removing this limitation. (Proverbs 20:18)
3. You think you are the smartest one in your company.
- This is a different problem than #2. This bad leader does not limit the intelligence of new team members, but instead is guilty of failing to recognize the potential inherent in his team members or employees. A good leader can often recognize potential in others, sometimes even when they themselves are unaware of it.
Whether you intend to or not, you are not a good leader if you are blind to the abilities and intelligence of your team. (Proverbs 11:14; 12:15)
4. You do not remember the last time you read a book.
- I believe strongly in the saying that “Leaders are readers.” As technology changes at a more and more rapid pace, and culture along with it, a leader needs to keep pace with the change. Good leaders can learn new things from reading history, current biographies, and even fiction. Obviously, we have already mentioned the vast numbers of books and blogs specifically targeted at becoming a better leader.
On the other hand, you are a not a good leader if you leave the learning to others. While reading books is legitimately difficult for some, there are other options such as audio books, conferences, and webinars online. (Proverbs 15:14)
5. Your idea of communication is a strong email.
- Whether it is spreading the team’s mission and vision or just taking advantage of a coaching moment, communication from a leader is critical. A good leader knows this and spends much if his time making sure his communication is getting through to his team.
You are not a good leader if you use email as your main form of communication. Even if your team is scattered all over the world, there are much better options than email to make sure body language and tone are correctly conveyed. (Proverbs 15:23; 16:15)