The Most Common Type of Incompetent Leader

The popular media is full of examples of bad leaders in government, academia, and business. But the most common kind of incompetent leader isn’t the ranting, narcissistic sociopath that might immediately come to mind. Rather, it’s the “absentee leader” — those in leadership roles who are psychologically absent from them. 

These people were promoted into management, and enjoy the privileges and rewards of a leadership role, but avoid meaningful involvement with their teams. Absentee leaders kill engagement and productivity. Research shows that being ignored by one’s boss is more alienating than being treated poorly, and that the impact of absentee leadership on job satisfaction outlasts the impact of both constructive and more overtly destructive forms of leadership. The chances are good, however, that your organization is unaware of its absentee leaders, because they specialize in flying under the radar by not doing anything that attracts attention. Nonetheless, the adhesiveness of their negative impact may be slowly and silently killing your organization.


Written by: Scott Gregory, CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems


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