How to spot a fake leader?


Generally, in the industry or in a day to day life when we think of leader we imagine a person of high authority or status or designation. This is a misconception and we need to understand that leader can be anyone. He can be a sweeper in college or railway platform, if he does his job with perfection, always inspires others to do more and helps to succeed others in becoming better sweeper than him. So basically anybody can be a leader in what he or she does in life irrespective of experience or designation or social status.

Please read the book of Robin Sharma named ‘The leader who had no title” to get more insights on the topic of ‘who is a leader’. I have attached the link at the end of the blog.

We generally keep on reading the qualities of a leader everywhere but we rarely come across something which let us identify a fake leader. I’m not using the words good leader and bad leader here because I think a leader is called a leader when he is good at what he should be otherwise he is what his designation is. So General Manager is General Manager if he is not having the qualities of a leader.

The term fake leader coined to a person, who tries to pose himself as a leader but not doing what a leader should do.

Following are the signs you should look for

1) When someone does not walk the talk.

When a person talks about certain things which he thinks should be followed by his team/colleague/friend/family member and he himself does not follow the same then he is not a leader. In day to day life, you see many people preach others but don’t do what they say. These people don’t get trust or respect from others.

Take an example, If there is a need for cutting down the cost in an organization, the leader will start from him instead of starting from the bottom level salary cut. The simple act of walk the talk will create a deep impact on the people around him.

A leader will always set an example for others. This inspires people around him to naturally follow and support him in his endeavors.

2) When someone does not take ownership of failures.

You will find this type of person everywhere. This is the person whose first line after failure would be “I didn’t do it”. Taking responsibility for failure needs courage and very few people would have that.

If somebody is taking ownership of his or his team’s failure, he/she would be always respected and called as a Leader. Team or people around him will go beyond the boundaries to save him or team from failing and eventually creating a winning attitude.

3) When someone does not share knowledge.

If someone is not developing people around him in a fear of losing his position then he is the one falling under this category. You see people keeping intellectual or personal knowledge with them and not teaching others. This ultimately limits team development and decrease efficiencies.

Leader openly shares knowledge and groom people around him. He creates more leader around him and makes them capable so that business or work can be done even if he is not there in the team. This creates learning culture in a group of people and develops everyone thus creating ‘A” team.

Above three are key signs to spot the fake leader as per me, however, there are few other also. Have you spotted any other sign? Please share.

Link to Book –