How to Tell Good Leadership From Bad & How Good Leaders Behave

John J. Pershing, a U.S. Army general in World War I, stated, "A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops." This statement holds true for business leaders today. Leadership -- whether good or bad -- has a direct effect on the productivity and success of a company.

Bad Leadership Habits to Watch For

  1. Poor leadership skills can ultimately ruin a company's chance of success. The attitude and actions of a leader are often reflected by the employees. A manager who does not care about company goals, performs duties with minimum effort or has sporadic attendance shows employees that substandard job performance is acceptable. Poor leaders often lack communication skills, which creates a gap between management and employees. Communication between upper management and employees is key to motivating, inspiring and a building a working relationship with subordinate workers. A strong leader can inspire employees to take pride in their jobs and not just show up to collect a paycheck.

Essential Qualities of a Leader

  1. An effective leader understands that managers should be the ultimate example of how employees are expected to act. Good leaders don't take advantage of management status to come and go as they please. When managers are punctual and perform their duties with high standards, ethics and integrity, employees are inspired to do the same. Poor leaders often possess a "do as I say, not as I do" mentality, which is detrimental and confusing to employees.

Effectively Managing Employees

  1. A good leader understands the importance of employees and that the success or failure of the company is largely based on its workers. Effective leaders ensure that clear instructions, expectations, communication and structure are in place. Poor managers can let the authority that comes with a position of leadership cloud their judgment, treating employees like children or less than equal. Employees are not inspired to listen to a leader who treats them poorly, shows favoritism, lacks initiative or has a negative attitude. Good leaders listen to employees, show interest in their ideas and reward them for exceeding expectations. When problems arise the workplace, a good leader deals with them in a manner that enforces the company rules, gives each party a chance to tell its side and maintains the reputation and dignity of all persons involved. Poor managers might know the company rules but often enforce them sporadically or with favoritism, which promotes an inefficient or hostile work environment.

Long-Term Leadership Goals

  1. Poor leaders often lack long-term vision, instead seeing only the day-to-day business objectives. Good leaders keep future goals in mind in addition to current projects, and they envision where the company needs to go. This type of focus helps maintain the mission, values and direction of the company, continually keeping the business moving forward and adapting to changing circumstances to increase the chance of success.