4 Worst Leadership Mindsets That Breed The Most Resentment


To quote a well-known axiom: “People don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad bosses.” It may be a huge generalisation, but it still holds a lot of truth.

Bad bosses make for bad business: they drive up turnover rates, kill innovation, and make the office an incredibly toxic space.




Ironically, bad bosses generally tend not to think of themselves as bad bosses — they’re likelier to think they’re doing a great job.

Don’t be one of those bosses: starting conducting honest self-appraisals of your leadership, starting with your leadership mindsets.

If your mindset isn’t right, your behaviour won’t be either, so here are 4 leadership mindsets you NEED to steer clear of at all times.

(Or better yet, just don’t take any chances and just sign yourself up now for SSA Academy’s WSQ course on developing personal effectiveness.)


1. “Just do as you’re told”: Bossiness


Maybe you’re really busy and you don’t have the time to explain everything to everyone all the time. Fair enough.

But when it comes to giving instructions, barking orders like a broken tape recorder is the easiest way to drive a wedge between yourself and your employees.




They aren’t your minions. Sending them off on personal favours, disregarding protests and micro-managing them is only going to erode their respect support of you as a leader.


Solution:  Give directives, not orders


  • Mind your toneDO: “I need to you to help get this report done by Friday.”
    DON’T: “I want this report on my desk by Friday, understood?”
  • Encourage your employees to think of solutionsGet them to chime in on what they think is the best way to go about doing a particular task. This way, you’ll also be indirectly coaching them and cultivating their problem-solving skills.


2. “My way or the highway”: Rigidity


Constantly insisting that everything has to be done exactly how you said you want it done without allowing for alternative viewpoints or strategies from your employees is a good way to kill enthusiasm.




By making them feel like any input they try and make will be invalidated and overrun, you’re sending the (very self-absorbed) message that you think you’re the only one who knows how to get things done.

Worse, by establishing so much resistance to alternative pathways, you’re crippling their innovation and adaptability in the long-term.


Solution: Collaborate, don’t alienate


  • Open up the channels of communication and welcome alternative ways of doing things
  • Set clear goals for your team to achieve so they can be more focused in collaborating
  • Respect their insights: they probably have better insights about how things work on the ground than you since they’re the ones on the ground most of the time


3. “It’s your fault”: Playing the blame game


Things are bound to go wrong, whether it’s a failed experimental initiative or a genuine mistake one of your employees made.

How you react when it occurs determines whether or not your leadership will be respected.

If someone on your team has caused a blunder or failed at something they set out to do, chances are they’re already feeling pretty horrible about it. Berating them in front of the entire team will only make things worse.




Research shows that while humiliating someone in public might improve their work performance in the short term, it’s incredibly damaging in the long term.

Not only does it destroy morale; if it happens often enough, it only encourages them to shrink inward and eventually leave for greener pastures.


Solution: Focus on problem-solving and growth


  • Keep it private as much as possible if you need to reprimand an employee
  • Encourage them to take responsibility for the blunder: invite them to reflect on what went wrong, why it went wrong, what could have been done better and get back to you the next day about it
  • Don’t default to making threats unless absolutely necessary; using fear-based tactics in the workplace only creates a negative working environment and does nothing for productivity




4. “I’m never wrong”


Remember: leadership is a privilege and a responsibility, not a right. Growth is borne from a cycle of continuous improvement and constructive criticism, which doesn’t only apply to your employees.

The best leaders know that creating a culture where everyone feels comfortable giving feedback to one another (including the boss) is crucial to learning.




If you persistently resist negative feedback, fail to make a conscious effort to improve even when you’re criticised, and can’t seem to ever admit that you were wrong or made a mistake, you’re only feeding more and more resentment.


Solution: Leave your ego at the door


  • Ask for feedback.Giving negative feedback to an employer can be nerve-wracking and intimidating, so you need to bridge the gap first.
  • Lead by exampleShowing your team that you welcome honest feedback lets them know that you’re committed to constant growth, which can earn you their respect and motivate them to do the same




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