Are You Unfit to be a Leader or to be Led?

As many as 60 to 75 percent of managers are unfit for leadership, according to Psychology Today. Meanwhile, about half of employees cite a bad manager as their top reason for quitting a job.
CNBC, based upon Gallup polls.

This week travelling by tube during the London rush hour, I had the pleasure of overhearing workplace banter.  What was it like?  Shocking!  Why?  It was totally them vs. us – with ‘us’ being the employees, and all fuelled by what these people could get out of it.
As the banter continued what was clear was that, once again, it was about the leadership – the boss – but was it really all their boss’s fault?
Earlier that day I was on the train travelling to London, where next to me a chap chatted on his phone about how he “just didn’t care” about what his boss and employers thought of him.  I wasn’t earwigging, he was speaking loudly and was right next to me!  To make matters worse, he boldly explained to his colleague on the other end of the line that he’d decided to have a lie in, catch a later train and did they fancy spending the rest of the day having lunch?!!

The CNBC report shares five reasons for leaders being toxic:

  1. Poor communication
  2. Micro management
  3. Unrealistic expectations
  4. Incompetence
  5. Arrogance


Recognise any of these in you or your boss?
The challenge is, how to be the boss and not be these things.  But I also challenge, how much of this is perception and the workers’ fault?

To help, here are some challenges to you as the leader or direct report.
See if you are fit to lead – or be led!


  • Are you being closed to people in the team you don’t like, especially when you suspect a lack of competence or engagement?
  • Are you using your position to dominate?
  • Are you just reassured that you’ve got to a leadership position, and therefore are doing well?
  • Are you conforming to your corporate culture or being normal and human?
  • Do you seek advice and input from your team about the stuff you don’t know?
  • Do you like the people you work with and if not, what are you doing about liking them and building their competence?
  • Are you actively driving belief in others and their abilities or always being demanding and getting increasingly frustrated?
  • Would you want to work for you?


  • Are you coasting, seeing yourself as being led or are you getting on with your job?
  • If you feel uncommunicated with, are you asking positive questions or are you being difficult?
  • Are you updating your boss so that they don’t feel the need to micromanage you?
  • If you feel overwhelmed, are you looking to yourself to re organise and get on with it, or procrastinating and moaning – wasting time?
  • Do you like where you work?  If not, what are you doing to change the culture or are you contributing to it negatively?
  • Are you taking accountability for your career or expecting the business or your boss to do this for you?
  • Are you conscious of the greater good – the impact you, the people there and your business has on the world, or are you just thinking of yourself?
  • Are you giving up or driving forward openly and with authenticity – to nail your role?

81% of our clients say they now have the power to change their workplace.
100% rate the impact on improving their performance as a Manager or Leader as over 85%.


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