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No good idea can get very far without a leader to make it a reality. Even if you have the best ideas, a great staff, and tons of resources, if the leadership at the top is flimsy, the whole thing will come tumbling down like a house of cards. These six warning signs should all be big red flags that something’s gone very wrong or is about to, and you need to change course immediately.

1. They’re Missing

Physically or mentally, these leaders simply aren’t there for their teams. Maybe they’re too busy with other projects, or maybe they’re simply not dedicated enough to the project at hand. Either way, these leaders aren’t around enough to lead people effectively.

2. A Lack of Empathy

It should go without saying, but working for a sociopath who doesn’t care about others’ feelings at all should be a no-go. There’s a big difference between being “tough” and “dictatorial,” and you want to avoid the latter type of leader at all costs.

3. A Failure to Connect

Some people are good with facts and figures or abstract ideas but are awful at conversation. They’re awkward, they mumble, they don’t make eye contact – they just aren’t good at talking to people. There’s nothing wrong with being that way as a person. On the other hand, being that way as a leader just isn’t possible. Leaders need to be able to connect with people, and that means communicating with them.

4. False Charmers

At the other end of the spectrum are leaders who try to hide every fault and mask every failure behind the aura of their personal charisma. These are the people who’ll promise you everything will be “huge” and “the best” and that they’ll always “put you first.”

5. No Organizational Skills

Leaders can delegate organizational tasks, but they still need the company to be organized. Moreover, with all of the meetings and responsibilities they have, they need to be at least somewhat organized themselves. 

6. No Growth 

Nobody is perfect. At the same time, if your leader is a little too comfortable with glaring, crippling flaws, it should be a big red flag that they aren’t the one you need to take you to the top. 

None of these leadership “styles” are a winning strategy for companies or employees.