Reasons for lack of effective leadership in the workplace

Leadership and its Importance

Leadership entails the ability to influence change within an organization. Great leaders strike a delicate balance of talents, behaviors, sources of power, and elements of many situations. Successful leaders are determined by their capacity to influence people, groups of people, and followers to achieve a goal. Organizational circumstances generate leaders with intrinsic abilities to deal with specific issues and provide solutions. Ineffective leaders fail to successfully influence how groups function, how tasks are completed, and how different members of a group or organization interact with one another. Toor and Ogunlana (2009). The most effective measure to determine the competency of a leader is the extent to which a group attains its goals. Leaders should incorporate attitude mindset and values that will facilitate members' commitment and transformation towards achieving goals. Effective leaders should develop a vision and a clear picture of how an organization will look in future. Managers play an essential role in the existence of role ambiguity. Certainly, ineffective leaders may not take the time to ensure that their employees have clear descriptions of functions nor even realize that their employees are going through conflicts in defining roles.

Ineffective Leadership and Organizational Factors

Ineffective leaders in organizations do not believe in themselves and do not incorporate maturity and expertise in translating vision into purpose and direction. Visionaries should be able to instill motivation, teamwork, and self-esteem to those they lead to achieving organizational goals. Understanding of the environment, trust in the institution, and discipline thinking is key to effective leadership. Ineffective leaders fail to establish clear expectation in defining roles and often give conflicting goals leading to stress among groups.( Kaiser, LeBreton, & Hogan, 2015). Poor communication, misuse of power, and inexperience are the main factors that contribute to ineffective leadership in the workplace. Organizations play a crucial role in promoting organizational leadership which is useful in solving the needs of a team. Lack of resources and weak planning are factors that contribute to lower leadership performance. Companies with low management support and lack of synergy between goals and accomplishment contribute to ineffective leadership.

Focus on Ineffective Leadership

A more significant portion of literature and study on leadership focuses only on effective leadership in organizations. The dark side of leadership and negative personality traits of leadership also exists in various institutions. This paper will focus on ineffective leadership, personal attributes, and organizational factors which are the leading causes of failure in a company's aims at achieving its mandate and vision. It is necessary to educate and focus on solutions to restoring effective leadership within groups. Many organizations have failed to thrive due to leaders who lack vision and direction. Effects of ineffective leaders are costly, and therefore, there is need to study research on this topic.

Reasons for Lack of Effective Leadership in the Workplace

Managerial roles are ever-changing, competition is unprecedented, and the market and management of organizations have to change to cope with the ever-changing environment. Administrative leadership has to come up with ideas to manage employees and clients. The competitive environment has placed a lot of pressure on managers at all levels to achieve better results and improve performances. Amid the changing business environment, managers have shown ineffectiveness in leading groups to achieve the set goals. There are many reasons why managers have failed to provide the necessary leadership in day to day activities. (Chuang, 2013).

Ineffective Communication

Ineffective communication from managers to staff is the main reason why there is a lack of effective leadership in organizations. Communication is the most crucial tool used to solve problems and make progress in companies. Managers will fail in their leadership role if they fail to communicate effectively. The ever-dynamic experiences in corporations have led to the increase in stress and coordination requirements which are often caused by changes in the workplace. Communication is the key to effecting abrupt changes in organizations. Managers must communicate to the affected departments on the need for change and how the change will be managed. Ineffective managers fail to recognize the importance of communication in facilitating change. Change often undergoes resistance if not probably managed. In these situations, managers frequently fail to efficiently share the critical information to work teams and individual employees. Additionally, managers fail to incorporate the concerns of groups regarding the change. Effective communication is key to high managerial performances

Poor Working Relationship

The poor working relationship between staff undermines effective leadership. The poor working relationship between faculty places additional stress on workers especially in times of change. A good working relationship is essential to achieving efficient administration. For managers to procure cooperation and level of commitment which is necessary for the thriving of an organization, the right working relationship should be in place. When rapid change is required in a company interpersonal skills, and both internal and external networks are significant to achieve the right results. The inability to foster a good working relationship with others has caused managers to decline in their roles. Employees on the middle level of management resist directions from the upper level of control when an excellent working relationship does not exist between them.

Delegation and Empowerment Breakdowns

Delegation and empowerment breakdowns lead to ineffective leadership. Managers are always faced with decisions to make regarding who does a given set of work. Managers fail to get results because they fail to empower their staff consequently leading to delegation breakdowns. A working place, which is dynamic, has made delegation difficult. Assigning of responsibilities to the team and granting them the authority and resources to complete a task is a process that requires planning, trust, and communication. The procedures and necessary factors to efficiently delegate have not received the needed attention from managers making them fail to lead during such change circumstances. When significant workplace changes are required, managers fail to offer sufficient leadership since they have disregarded delegation and planning during the transition.

Effects of Ineffective Leadership

Companies with incompetent managers in the workplace face many damaging consequences both to the employees, clients, customers, and the organization as a whole. Groups with poor leadership in its management perform below expectations. Leaders with no vision harm the company since they reduce the competitiveness of the organization to firms in the same industry. Resources of the company may not be managed well if the leaders are ineffective. Poor leadership has had adverse effects on various aspects of the business and the employees. The results touch on the following factors:


Managers with mediocre leadership skills reduce the companies' productivity. They cause a huge gap in the making of strategies which are essential towards enhancing productivity. The incapability to execute plans and poor communication between departments delay the process of implementing tasks. Poor leadership leads to inadequacy in strengthening and improving on strategies to enhance employee performances. Lack of adequate communication to staff on new roles or change management delays job execution and eventually reduce the productivity of the company. (Webber, Ser, & Goussak, 2015).


Poor leadership affects the confidence of staff. It fails to appreciate the efforts of employees thus demoralizing them. Ineffective leaders make employees go through stress when accomplishing tasks. The managers do not give clear instructions when delegating jobs. Lack of job evaluation and improvement always define poor managers thus lowering the morale of staff. Ineffective managers do not appreciate the importance of communication as a vital tool in managing change thus giving employees a tough time in adapting to change. Input and responses from the lower levels of staff are not taken into consideration by ineffective leaders when making essential decisions lowering their morale in communicating. Micromanaging of employees leads to reduced trust and self-esteem. (Ngambi, 2011).

Goal Attainment

Failure to give employees a clear sense of direction and expected performance negatively reduces the motivation of employees and the time taken to achieve organizational goals. A manager fails to get the required results from staff due to failure to clarify goals, specify tasks that require immediate attention, and an inability to articulate what is needed from an individual employee in fulfilling the vision and mission of the organization. Ineffective managers fail to adapt to the changing environment of implementing ideas and fail to realign their actions and performances to the current needs of the company.


Ineffective managers do not give clear instructions. Lack of management skills to provide clear guidelines on a given piece of work will expose employees a hard time in executing the job. Most of them are left guessing what they are supposed to do and are likely to get it wrong. The inefficient leader will blame the employee for the poor performance reducing the efficiency of the workers and the overall goal of the company. Dissatisfaction and anger due to poor leadership will reduce the productivity of the workers in the workplace.


Weak managers are not result-oriented; they do not take time to know how far the department has reached in attaining the set performance standards. The relationship between employees and the managers does not go hand in hand in achieving organizational goals. They do not keep track of the effectiveness of the methods used to achieve goals. The inability to keep track of employee performance and give appropriate solutions reduce the efficiency of workers. Feedback should be used to monitor and improve the effectiveness of employees.

Possible Solutions


Lack of competences in the management of organizations has proven to be the most significant obstacle to good leadership. Institutions should promote training of managers to improve on the various areas necessary in administration. Managers should be equipped with communication skills, efficient team building and methods of clarifying expectations. The managers should be trained on how to provide useful feedback to employees. Team leadership and empowerment of staff are some of the ways managers can use to lead their staff to attain organizational goals efficiently. Training will enable managers to acquire skills on critical tasks that relate to proactive planning, navigating performance roadblocks and how to better select and develop talented people to help them lead the team. Personal factors, e.g. attitudes are best solved using quick training programs. The programs will help managers change bad habits which are often difficult to change. ( Longenecker, Neubert, & Fink, 2007).


Provision of incentives to hardworking staff will help promote the culture of effective leadership. Companies should develop programs that award managers who are committed to organizational goals. The program will help motivate managers to work for the betterment of the firm. Incentives will develop a positive attitude among leaders, thus making them look for better ways of doing things. Appreciation of leaders will encourage others to follow suit.

Change of Organizational Systems

Systems that hinder and cripple the performances of managers should be changed. For example, person to-job mismatches contribute to the incompetence of leaders. Policies should be put in place in the selection of managers to lead various departments. Ineffective systems and standard operating procedures that work against change efforts of managers should be abolished. The factors that hinder leaders from giving the best include the lack of resources to carry out proposals and ideas to the achievement of objectives in addition to ineffective superiors that do not cooperate to implement suggestions of leaders. Funds should be budgeted to ensure the businesses and organizations favor the efforts of managers in leadership. (Longenecker, Neubert, & Fink,2007).


Companies should prioritize ways of dealing with ineffective leaders to attain organizational goals. They should go to great lengths to find solutions to the problem of poor leadership. The need to recognize the causes of the ineffectiveness of leaders is important in trying to find a remedy for the vice since specific causes of poor leadership need unique solutions. Resources should be used to encourage and motivate good managers as well as training managers on good leadership skills. Motivation and giving incentives to the best managers will help build a culture towards effective leadership in the workplace.



Chuang, S. F. (2013). Essential skills for leadership effectiveness in diverse workplace development.

Kaiser, R. B., LeBreton, J. M., & Hogan, J. (2015).The dark side of personality and extreme leader behavior. Applied Psychology, 64(1), 55-92.

Ngambi, H. C. (2011). The relationship between leadership and employee morale in higher education. African Journal of Business Management, 5(3), 762.

Longenecker, C. O., Neubert, M. J., & Fink, L. S. (2007).Causes and consequences of managerial failure in rapidly changing organizations. Business Horizons, 50(2), 145-155.

Toor, S. U. R., &Ogunlana, S. (2009). Ineffective leadership: Investigating the negative attributes of leaders and organizational neutralizers. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 16(3), 254-272.

Webber, J. K., Ser, E. M., &Goussak, G. W. (2015).Work Habits as Positive and Negative Influence on Workplace Productivity.

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