Dear remote leader, today we will do something a little different.

Instead of discussing how to be a great remote leader, we’ll explore the “reverse point of view” to help you identify the main characteristics of a bad remote leader.
Knowing what NOT to do can be just as enlightening and valuable as knowing what to do. 😇

I’ve recently been interacting with a team from one of our providers, and unfortunately, I’ve witnessed some concerning behaviors.
I won’t share their identity for obvious reasons, but I believe we can all learn something from their experience.


remote leader


Here are the top signs of a bad remote leader, inspired by this real-life example.

🙅‍♀️ Disrespect among teammates

In this team, it’s clear that teammates don’t like each other, which is evident even in front of external parties. A good leader fosters a healthy work environment where respect is a priority.

Positive Action:
Encourage open communication and address conflicts proactively.
Lead by example, treating everyone with respect and empathy.

⏰ Last-minute task completion

This team constantly completes tasks “just in the nick of time” without planning or organization. Great leaders know the value of planning and setting clear expectations.

Positive Action:
Implement a task management system, set deadlines, and hold regular check-ins to ensure progress.

😶 Avoiding responsibility

No one on this team ever takes responsibility for anything. A strong leader cultivates a culture of accountability and ownership.

Positive Action:
Encourage team members to take responsibility for their work and be the first to own up to your own mistakes.

🕵️‍♂️ Absent and unhelpful remote leader

Their team leader is often absent, doesn’t act as a facilitator, and always blames external factors for problems.
Influential leaders are present, supportive, and solution-oriented.

Positive Action:
Be available to your team, provide guidance, and focus on finding solutions rather than assigning blame.
Check also this past issue about 5 best practices for remote coaching.

👉 Public finger-pointing + lack of recognition

When things go wrong, the leader points the finger at others in public and never gives credit when things go well.
Good leaders know praise and constructive feedback are essential for a healthy team dynamic.

Positive Action:
Recognize your team’s achievements in public, and provide constructive feedback privately.

🚧 Lack of transparency

Information is scarce, and the team is left in the dark. Great leaders keep their teams informed and maintain an open line of communication.

Positive Action:
Share updates regularly, involve team members in decision-making, and create a culture of transparency.

🤨 So.. Are you a good or a bad remote leader?

Now that we’ve listed the characteristics of a bad remote leader, take a moment for introspection: Do you exhibit any of these behaviors?
If so, use the positive actions provided to overcome these habits and become a better leader.

Remember, nobody’s perfect, and we’re all constantly learning and growing.
Identifying areas for improvement is the first step toward being a more effective remote leader.