The impact of poor leadership

Greg Kirwan discusses the impact poor leadership can have on a team and an organisation.

In today’s world of work, leaders need to be more resilient than ever. The impact of the pandemic and a widely dispersed workforce have had major repercussions on the way leaders and their teams need to operate. It’s essential for leaders to be future fit and have the necessary tools at their disposal so that their actions are empirically proven to stabilise organisations. Leaders also need to be able to inspire, influence, and transform teams, be courageous and authentic, and increasingly need to change or strengthen the culture within teams.

In this series, Olivier Mythodrama’s CEO Greg Kirwan looks at how leadership teams can make a positive impact, what happens when leaders get it wrong, how they can overcome challenges and why they need to be future fit.


As a leader you’re looked upon for guidance and support. Poor leadership has a huge impact on a team and the organisation as a whole. Lack of employee engagement, high turnover, low productivity, and low morale can really cripple a business and it can drive good employees away. Most of us have experienced poor leadership at some point in our careers and know the impact it’s had on us, so what are the signs and behaviours to look out for?

Claiming others’ ideas as their own

We’ve all been there, you come up with a great idea and tell your boss about it. They don’t appear to be that interested but the next thing you know it’s being widely spoken about by your colleagues and your boss is being congratulated for coming up with a great new concept. This is unfortunately a common trait amongst bad leaders. The result of this behaviour will impact on more than just that one individual. If it keeps happening team members will feel stifled, they wont want to share their thoughts and ideas impacting on productivity and creativity and it will have a huge drain on team morale. The team has lost trust in their manager which makes for a bad working relationship and ultimately could result in team members leaving.

Do as I say not do as I do

Another controlling behaviour of a bad leader is not leading by example. Your team is working on a big project, and you’re told that you’ll need to work longer hours to get it completed but when it comes to it your boss is nowhere to be seen. They’ve left early, you can’t get hold of them, they’re not being a team member but are quite happy to take the credit when the project is completed on time.  Leaders must neverask anyone to do something that they themselves are unwilling to do.

Lack of communication

One of the biggest reasons teams feel unmotivated is due to lack of communication. Communication is key to a happy, productive workforce especially now when so many teams are working in a hybrid way. Communicating regularly both one-to-one and as a team has a hugely positive impact. It makes your team feel included, motivates them, and builds trust. Without it your team don’t know what’s expected of them, they don’t feel they can ask for help and it has a knock-on impact on the organisation. Remember, it’s not just about talking to your team, it’s also about listening to them.

Quick to criticise

Being a leader means you have to take responsibility for the output of your team. Owning your role is essential, but some leaders are too quick to point fingers and blame others rather than providing help and guidance and proactively helping the situation.

Lack of adaptability

No one size fits all in business. Leaders need to be adaptable to the different situations they find themselves in and the different people they interact with. If a leader is stuck in their ways and unwilling to adapt, they will find it very difficult to lead with authority. A lack of flexibility makes it hard for a team to connect and operate efficiently often resulting in an unproductive, unmotivated team.


Olivier Mythodrama has been delivering innovative and thought provoking leadership training for over 20 years. The people and organisations we have worked with describe our training as life changing. We think they’re right. We already work with some of the world’s leading businesses. Are you ready to join them?

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Leaders shouldn’t drive team members to compete against each other, they shouldn’t lead by fear. Instead, they need to lead by example.