Succession planning II: How to follow a bad leader


In a previous article, I wrote about how to follow a good leader, this article is going to discuss how to follow a leader who was less than effective. Nobody is perfect. We have made bad decisions, but some of us make more than others. The good news is we can learn from those mistakes and set a positive example so that the next leader will have an easier job.

People hesitate to accept a leadership role following a bad leader because they feel that they will be held accountable, compared to, or blamed for the previous leaders actions. People will expect miraculous change overnight from the new leader and are easily disappointed when the change does not occur. Does this sound familiar in any of today's leaders? Fortunately, there are ways in which you can follow a bad leader:

  1. Don't mimic the previous leader's actions. Make your own footsteps, instead of following in theirs.
  2. Ask for input from team members or people familiar with the previous leadership.
  3. Evaluate current procedures, note deficiencies, and make modifications.
  4. Don't make the same mistakes twice.
  5. Seek the guidance of a mentor, someone who has positive experiences in a leadership role.

Accepting a leadership role means leading others to a common goal. To be an effective leader, remember the seven laws of leadership. Following a bad leader just means relighting the torch and carrying it to the finish.

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