No one WANTS to be a Bad Leader

Greg Thomas
4 min readJul 19, 2022


When we take on the role of leadership — whether it’s in a formal (manager) or informal (lead, senior) capacity— no one starts off wanting to be a bad leader.

But it can end up that way where at some point we take a step back and realize that we too the wrong approach, went down the wrong path, and we’ve generated more fails than successes resulting in the team becoming further disjointed than when we started.

Truth is — it happens more often than you think, even to people we think of as great leaders. How we get through it is by realizing and admitting that we have made mistakes along the way and now is the time to rectify them and take action.

Where Are we At?

I always like to start here, because this is the hardest step that many want to avoid. Where are we at — what is happening with the team today, what are we failing at, what do we need to improve on, what could we be doing better at — all of it — you write it all down on paper or even better on a markerboard so it’s there in front of you.

If you need to book a room to do this solo, I highly advise it, this first step is one that is carried out just by you and on no one else. Book a room (or do it at home), close the door, turn off the phone and all notifications and write it all out. Be honest, where are things at.

Now comes the hard part, where do you fit in?

  • Where have you contributed or not to these failures?
  • Where are you holding your team back and perhaps exerting too much control?
  • Where are you pushing people too hard and they are burning out?
  • Where are you not organized enough for the team?
  • Where do you need to provide more clarity and direction for them?
  • Are we missing deadlines? Why?
  • Are people struggling? What have I done?
  • Do we have what we need to make this work?

Only you can take the look at this board and know where you fit in, where the gaps exist, and what you have been up to.

I have done this exercise with many leaders over the years and the ones that successfully get past this stage are the ones that are…



Greg Thomas

Software Architect, Developer, Author and Leader helping organizations build scalable software delivery teams and implement cloud-based solutions

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