Bohan and Bradstreet

Ineffective Leadership

8/15/2017 by Bailey


            About 1/3 of our searches each year consist of confidential replacements for ineffective leaders. This poor leadership, at the supervisor to Board of Directors level, is a reality that every business must face at some point. Not everyone is prepared for the responsibilities that leadership entails, and this can help create a toxic culture, stymy employee and process development, and encourage monetary losses to the company. Thus, being able to identify and address the signs of bad leadership is essential to running a successful business. In our experience, all problematic leaders struggle in one or more of the following categories:

  • Communication
    • Transparency as a business partner or team leader
    • Open-mindedness and acceptance of the ideas of others
    • Ability to convey strategy and goals
  • Character
    • Willingness to distribute credit in successes and accept blame in failures
    • Appreciation for work/life balance and the value of taking breaks
    • Willingness to accept change or evolution
  • Competency
    • Time and resource management
    • Ability to develop talent
    • Consistency of decision making


How does one solve the problem of ineffective leadership once it is identified?


Depending on the person and situation, the solution is either "tough love" or a confidential upgrade. Some leaders will find it easier to change their behavior than others:  re-establishing goals, providing insightful feedback and coaching, and changing level of responsibility can all work if they are willing and able to cooperate. In today’s world, however, it is much harder to accomplish this due to the evolution of business processes, global competition, changes in technology, and alternative employment opportunities. Accountability to both internal and external stakeholders in the modern business landscape means that ineffective leaders must adapt more quickly than was required of them only a decade ago.


As a result, confidential replacement through a consultant like Bohan and Bradstreet has become an increasingly viable option.


We assess each potential replacement in depth in order to ensure that our clients know everything they need to make the right decision. As one recent client explained, B&B “provided exceptional service to us in our search for a CFO…we had three very qualified candidates, and we would have been well served by any one of them. Their diligent work in seeking out the requirements we needed so as to pace qualified candidates was impressive…I would highly recommend Bohan & Bradstreet.”

In addition to thoroughly evaluating how each potential replacement can improve on the current leadership, B&B can successfully complete a confidential replacement in less time than it would take for the “tough love” approach.