7 Examples of Shallow Leadership

Growing in our leadership abilities, knowledge and relationships should be a goal for every leader. Many leaders settle for status quo leadership rather than stretching themselves as leaders. They remain oblivious to the real health of their leadership and the organization. I call it shallow leadership. Perhaps you’ve seen this before in leadership. Maybe you’ve been guilty of providing shallow leadership. I certainly have.

Here are 7 characteristics of shallow leadership:

Thinking your idea will be everyone’s idea…

Believing that your way is the only way..

Assuming you already know the answer…

Pretending to care when really you don’t…

Giving the response that makes you most popular…

Refusing to learn something new…

Ignoring the warning signs of an unhealthy environment…

Have you seen shallow leadership before? What would you add to my list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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46 thoughts on “7 Examples of Shallow Leadership

  1. So many great comments and an awesome post today!!! I have one:

    Shallow leaders:

    Hold on to their "master plan" so tightly that it crumbles and they spend their time trying to pick up the pieces.

  2. Shallow Leaders
    – only associate themselves w/ ppl that tell them yes
    – look for a way out before they ever commit
    – won’t persevere
    – dress right / do nothing
    – refuse to give credit
    – build their esteem instead of the teams
    – discuss the symptoms & ignore the issue
    – talk a big game, but won’t get in the trenches

  3. My question is…how many spouses/parents are shallow leaders? We need to watch out for these things in our marriages/families as well. I'm guilty as charged. Thank you for the opportunity to grow and change.

  4. Shallow leaders,
    – worship crowds and fear and avoid individuals.
    – undermine the missional sending capacity of the local church.
    – never foster Kingdom culture.
    – Prefer clean stables, over messy oxen.
    – usually very sub-culturalized and ingrown.

  5. ha! ok good, cuz i've got a few more! :-)

    Shallow leaders raise and attract good followers rather than good leaders. They find raising or leading true leaders cumbersome, time-consuming and messy and an impediment to the process. (followers say, "ok" leaders ask, "why?".)

    Shallow leaders feed off the praise of others; it's their personal measuring stick for success.

    Shallow leaders take criticism – no matter how well intended – personally rather than objectively.

    Shallow leaders will blame anyone and everyone before taking responsibility for poor leadership. (It's not always the devil opposing you, sometimes it's just poor leadership.)

    Shallow leaders rarely realize they're shallow leaders; they fail to understand that following all the "rules of leadership" does not inherently make you a good leader.

  6. Viewing people who disagree with you as a threat to your leadership rather than an asset providing you with a perspective you don't possess.

  7. Two more for the list.

    Public belittling of people that don’t agree with your view

    Having a “Don’t let the door hit you in the but on the way out” attitude.

  8. I have worked for some that thought everything was abouit them: If it’s good, it’s all them; if it’s bad, it’s what others are doing to them!
    Twitter: bryankr

  9. Great post Ron! I would also add that one sure sign of shallow leadership is the prevalence of employes, and the lack of spiritual sons and daughters. The difference b/w a servant and a son shows up when inevitable problems and difficulties arise. A son fights, while the servant get's on the next flight…

  10. I wouldn't call that person a leader. They may have a title that puts them over people. But I feel sorry for the folks under them.

    I would add "Doing everything yourself and then complaining nobody is helping you"

  11. Great post! Here are two more I can think of:

    Failing to see the potential in others and nurturing it
    Interfering in a task you have given to another