Some leaders are down right “Scary.” Their character, their philosophy their style scares those with whom they work and scares those who are observing from a distance. Art Rainer share seven types of “Scary Leaders.” Do you recognize any of these, in others or in yourself?

Originally posted by Art Rainer

Have you ever witnessed a leader whose leadership style you would characterize as scary?

It’s terrifying to watch. And it’s even worse to work under.

Scary leaders can show up in a variety of ways. Let’s look at seven types of scary leaders:

1.  The lead-by-fear leader. My friend, Jimmy Scroggins, once told me that leaders tend to either lead with fear or love. And he opted for the latter. The lead-by-fear leader opts for the former. Under this scary leader, criticism is common. Threats of demotion or job loss are common. Team member don’t work for the organization’s vision but for the fear of humiliation and salary loss.

2.  The selfish leader. This type of scary leader relishes the spotlight. They take credit rather than give credit. They hoard responsibility and information. They want everyone looking at them and relying on them. They hate when team members get acknowledged for their work without mention of them. To learn more about selfish leaders, check out this post.

3.  The micromanaging leader. The micromanaging leader struggles to trust others. Because of this, he or she is in the details of everyone’s work. They think that they are ensuring quality work, but they end up slowing everyone down. They hinder, instead of propel, their teams.

4.  The emotionally unpredictable leader. You never know how the conversation will go with this type of scary leader. One day, everything seems great. The next day, or maybe the next hour, they’re irate. What happened? No one really knows. Suddenly, everything is wrong. Team members walk on eggshells, not knowing what will set the leader off next.

5.  The overconfident leader. Confidence is good. Overconfidence can be scary. Overconfident leaders tend to dismiss differing opinions, even from trusted sources. They take excessive risks. They assume that past success means future success. Their confidence convinces team members to make or go along with bad decisions. And worst of all, they rarely see themselves as overconfident. If you want to read more about overconfident leaders, click this link.

6.  The underconfident leader. Overconfidence is scary. But so is underconfidence. Underconfident leaders are unsure of themselves, constantly questioning their own ability in an unhealthy manner. They tend to be overly concerned with others’ opinions. They focus on the negative, struggle to make decisions, and let past decision define them. Needless to say, underconfident leaders struggle to gain a following. Click this link for more on underconfident leaders.

7.  The visionless leader. This type of scary leader has no idea where he or she should take the team. They allow their team to wander aimlessly. Team members tend to get either get frustrated or bored.

God has called us to manage well those we lead. A leader who strives to be the best steward of his or her team will rarely be classified as a scary leader.

If you think you may fit into one of these scary leader categories, here are a quick few suggestions:

  • Regularly spend time with God. When your heart and mind are aligned with God’s heart and mind, you will become a better leader.
  • Find a leadership mentor. Find a leader to speak into your leadership. Preferably, someone who already is the type of leader that you desire to be.
  • Place daily reminders in front of you. Find ways to remind yourself of the leader you strive to be. It may be as simple as a Post-it note with a Bible verse or quote placed on your desk.

 So don’t be a scary leader. Serve and steward your team well.