Many businesses have both of these types of leaders that operate in this way, sometimes without even realising it. It’s important that we recognise these in our business because it can often be the difference between a great culture that provides high quality levels of productivity and one where morale is low amongst employees often producing the bare minimum.

So, how do we recognise the difference between a successful leader in or company compared to one that operates in a dysfunctional way?

Successful Leader Dysfunctional Leader
Creating a culture of success and high-performance allowing staff the freedom to voice their opinions and feedback on projects and tasks.


Micro-manages employees and poor communication to colleagues.


Takes responsibility for mistakes or errors and happy to help coach or advise those who make errors.


Only highlights faults and mistakes in others and distances themselves from errors or failure.
Proactive and always thinking of the bigger picture for the business and employees.


Only focuses on the current climate and projects without planning.
Assists employees with training, development and continued education.


Only thinks of profit and neglects colleagues future development.
Strong decision maker who rarely changes their mind once a decision is made.


Hesitates on key decisions and changes their views often.
Always authentic with colleagues and willing to listen to others opinions.


Refuses to cooperate with colleagues or listen to reason.
Demonstrates integrity ensuring that they operate professionally without seeking praise or reward.


Only looks to be seen as the reason for success and wants to take the credit for efforts of the team or colleagues to promote self-worth.
Shows discipline at all times regardless of the circumstances or situation.


Cannot control emotions and quick to reprimand or criticise.
Recognises that learning from mistakes is a necessary process.


Takes failure personally and is unapproachable when times or situations become difficult.

For our business to continue to grow and succeed, using the above is a great tool to highlight where our leaders fall into these criteria. Don’t be too critical of those that tend to operate in a dysfunctional manner. All they usually need is a gentle prod or guidance in the right direction because often they have never been shown any other way.