Organizational Wellness

Leadership Weaknesses: How to Build Strong Leaders in Your Workplace

Feb 23, 2024
Last Updated May 10, 2024

Imagine a workplace where every leader is like a lighthouse, guiding their teams with clarity and inspiration. 

Now, picture the opposite: a ship without a compass, where leadership weaknesses leave teams adrift in a sea of frustration and disconnection. 

Which one do you resonate with? 

If you said the second, that’s (unfortunately) pretty common — a staggering 57% of employees have left at least one job because of a manager, according to a survey conducted by Development Dimensions International. 

But this isn’t the time to point fingers. It’s actually a golden opportunity for HR to turn the tide. 

From crafting dynamic leadership development programs to boosting engagement and shaping a culture where everyone thrives, you can set the stage to help transform your organization.  Let’s explore how you can reshape leadership by equipping them with the tools they need to develop and lead with a steady hand.


Leadership Weaknesses, Defined

First, the basics. Leadership weaknesses are deficiencies in a leader's abilities, traits, or behaviors that negatively impact their effectiveness in guiding and motivating their team to achieve their goals

Some common leadership weaknesses include:

  • PoorCcommunication Skills: Ineffective communication leads to misunderstandings that decrease efficiency.
  • Inability to Delegate: Leaders who have difficulty delegating tasks become overwhelmed, hindering productivity.
  • Inflexibility: If a rigid-thinking leader resists change, they struggle to adapt to evolving technologies or strategies.
  • Indecisiveness: Leaders who grapple with making timely decisions delay projects, which can halt progress.
  • Lack of Empathy: When leaders lack empathy, they have difficulty understanding their team members' needs. This decreases morale and engagement.
  • Micromanagement: Micromanaging undermines team trust and autonomy. Stifles creativity like this dampens output and cuts into morale.
  • Lack of Accountability: By failing to take responsibility for their actions — or their team's — leaders erode trust and credibility.
  • Inconsistency: With inconsistent actions, decisions, or communication, leaders create confusion that undermine trusts. 

By identifying and addressing poor leadership, HR management has a great opportunity to:

Given the influence leadership has on how an entire organization runs, this is a chance for People departments to make a major contribution to the company’s success.

How Weak Leadership Impacts Organizational Performance

Weak leadership can create confusion and frustration, leaving employees feeling disconnected and downright dissatisfied. 

When leaders miss the mark on clear communication or fail to empower their teams, employees are likely to disengage. Add on micromanagement, flip-flopping decisions, or dodging accountability, and you’re likely to have major issues with trust. This can spark a domino effect where employees start feeling invisible, their motivation tanks, and they disconnect from their work. This is likely to push employees to hunt for greener pastures where transparency and support aren't just buzzwords. 

The fallout? Spiraling turnover rates that throw team harmony and workflows into chaos — not to mention the hefty bill for recruiting and training replacements. A revolving door of employees also slams the brakes on productivity and efficiency. Demoralized employees lack the zest and dedication needed for top-notch performance. 

In the end, it's your bottom line that takes the hit, proving once and for all that strong leadership isn't just nice to have. It's essential.

Leadership Style Matters

There are many styles of leadership — and some are more effective than others. 

On one side, we have toxic or micromanaging bosses. They tend to clip employees' wings, which can push them to look for greener pastures elsewhere.

On the other hand are transformational and servant leaders that champion collaboration and cheer on their teams. These powerhouses are all about empowering folks and putting a spotlight on personal growth. These styles are associated with lower turnover rates, a positive culture, and a team that's thriving.

Professional Development to Strengthen Leadership

Implementing these professional development strategies can reinforce your organization's leadership pipeline.

Leadership Training Programs

Training is crucial for both current and aspiring leaders alike. Programs you can consider range from communication and decision-making to conflict resolution and emotional intelligence. Investing in structured training shows your organization's dedication to developing leadership talent and fostering a culture of growth

Promote a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Feedback is crucial for enhancing leadership skills — it fosters constructive dialogue, highlights areas for improvement, and cultivates a culture of continuous learning. Leaders who actively seek and apply feedback show a commitment to growth, inspiring their teams to follow suit. This approach can boost performance and strengthen team dynamics.

Creating Supportive Environments

Providing mentorship opportunities and resources for self-directed learning encourages experimentation that can lead to innovation. Organizations can cultivate capable leaders equipped to navigate complex challenges by nurturing an environment where leaders feel valued.

Tools and Resources for Leadership Assessment and Improvement

You can use many tools and resources to assess and improve your organization's leadership. Popular leadership assessment tools include:

  1. 360-degree Reviews: These surveys collect feedback from various sources, including peers, subordinates, and supervisors, to provide a comprehensive assessment of a leader's strengths and areas for improvement.
  2. Personality Assessments: Tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the DiSC profile can help leaders understand their personality traits and how these influence their leadership style and interactions with others.
  3. Leadership Competency Frameworks: These outline the key competencies and behaviors required for effective leadership. Use them to assess an individual's proficiency in these areas.

Resources for enhancing leadership skills include:

  1. Books: Leadership classics like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and Leadership: Theory and Practice by Peter G. Northouse provide valuable insights into leadership principles and strategies.
  2. Online Courses and Workshops: Platforms like CourseraLinkedIn Learning, and Harvard Business School Online offer a wide range of courses and workshops covering various aspects of leadership development.
  3. Executive Coaching: Working with a professional coach can provide personalized guidance and support for leadership development. This can help leaders identify areas for growth and implement effective strategies for improvement.

Leading the Way at Your Workplace

As HR professionals, you are in a unique position to lead this charge. By developing leaders, you establish the foundation for a robust organizational culture. 

And this journey doesn't end with leadership development. Just like positive leadership increases employee morale, productivity, and tenure, so do wellbeing programs. These programs bolster mental and physical wellness, leading to improved overall employee performance. The synergy between leadership development and wellbeing initiatives creates a powerful duo that can significantly reduce turnover rates, boost productivity, and enhance your bottom line.

So, are you ready to take charge of your organization’s future? Reach out to a Wellbeing Specialist today!

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!


  • Frontline Leader Project. (2019, March 1). DDI.


Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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