8 Characteristics of a Weak Leader

As a leadership coach, I have come across some truly amazing leaders. Unfortunately, these are few and far between in comparison to the plethora of weak leaders I have come across. This made me think of the factors that contribute to weak leadership, which I have outlined below, so you can learn to avoid such behaviours and become the strongest leader you can be.

I think one of the reasons behind weak leaders is that they end up as leaders almost by default. For example, the best salesperson in the team gets promoted to a leadership position. The problem is that selling and leadership require a different set of skills.

With the above in mind, I have compiled a list of eight characteristics of weak leaders. I hope that if you see your current leadership style in any of the list, then you will seek help to make the necessary changes.

8 Characteristics of a Weak Leader

  1. They don’t take ownership – Weak leaders blame their employees when things go wrong. They often refuse to take ownership of their part in anything that goes wrong within their business or department, even if their responsibility was only partial.
  2. They procrastinate – Weak leaders are unproductive and inefficient due to putting things off until they become urgent and critical to the business. They are also poor at coming back to employees with updates and decisions.
  3. They lack integrity – Weak leaders often live by the mantra “do as I say and not as I do”. This is a bad way to lead people, as the leader’s integrity and credibility will be called into question by their employees. Leaders who lack integrity will also often struggle to keep things confidential, which results in a lack of trust from employees.
  4. They lack humility – Weak leaders never admit they are wrong even when it’s clear for all to see that they are. They also think that they know it all which leads to them having what I call a “cement mindset”. They are also likely to talk down to their employees.
  5. They don’t progress – Weak leaders don’t go on training courses, have coaching, or read books that will have them develop. They think they’re above being developed; they don’t coach and training for their staff, but they think they are above it as they know it all, or so they think.
  6. They don’t act – Weak leaders spend a lot of time in the office with the door closed and spend a ridiculous amount of time working on yet another strategy, getting everything in place for the metaphorical plane to take off. The problem is they don’t act and therefore the plane stays on the runway.
  7. They don’t delegate – Weak leaders think nobody can do things as well as they can. This is often because they don’t trust others and they think they simply know best. Even when they think they are delegating; their employees will express feelings of being micro-managed.
  8. They lack consistency – Weak leaders are often up one minute and down the next, it’s like they are on a never-ending roller coaster. The problem is that their lack of consistency means that their employees end up having to go along on an unpleasant ride with them.

The list above is not exhaustive, and I am sure you can think of many more characteristics of a weak leader. I would be grateful if you could add any that you think of in the comments section of this blog.

If you would like my help improving your or your team’s leadership skills, contact me, at 020 8337 5937 or send me an email to