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Three Symptoms of an Unreliable Leader

If we are unreliable, the people we are called to lead may like us or love us, but they won’t trust us.

He was late again. The team sat in the conference room waiting. 10 minutes. 20 minutes. 30 minutes went by. When our boss finally arrived, he quickly apologized for being late and blamed his previous meeting for running long. The problem was not that he was late. The problem was he was consistently late. Our boss was a good man overall. We liked him. But he demonstrated to us that we could not rely on him and therefore we did not trust him.

The three symptoms of an unreliable leader are:

1. Consistently Late

Being late happens to everyone. But a leader who is consistently late may have a problem with setting priorities or managing their time. They view their time as more important than another person’s.

When a leader can’t set priorities, manage their time, or does not value other peoples’ time, others perceive them as selfish and therefore unreliable.

2. Rarely Follows Through

It’s a fact of life - some people are more forgetful than others. But a leader who promises to call you back, check into it, or talk to headquarters and then doesn’t follow through causes damage to the team. The team will stop bringing them problems because they can’t rely on them to do what they say they will do.