3 - What to do when replacing a bad leader

What to do when replacing a bad leader

It’s completely normal to feel anxious when you are asked to fill a managerial role that was previously held by someone else. Unavoidably, your behavior and actions will be compared with your predecessor’s. Either he was a bad or a good leader, you will be judged about your achievements or shortcomings. But in case you replace a bad leader, you have to take responsibility for his wrong decisions, and at the same time, you have to try and find ways to fix these things.

A bad leader can destroy a company, no matter how good its product or service is. As a new manager, you must take immediate actions while knowing that you have to deal with people that do not know you yet and they may be a bit hesitant about you. Handling all these different situations can be tough even for the most experienced leader. But, if you follow the advice below, you will be able to transform your company and make everyone be the best version of themselves.

Even the worst leader has achieved something good

As a new leader, you have to discriminate yourself from your predecessor. People need to know that you will not make the same mistakes and you are there to save them. In this process, you have to make clear that even the worst leader, undoubtedly has achieved something good in the organization. From the employees’ point of view, some may support your predecessor and others may be very judgmental about him. Either way, what you have to do is stand by his achievements and try to fix the traumas he has left behind.

2 - What to do when replacing a bad leader

Create your vision with a condition for forgiveness

Every human being has the right to make mistakes. When it comes to business, a bad leader probably doesn’t handle situations mistakenly, on purpose. He may have the best intentions, but his methods and tactics could not support his vision. What you have to do now, is to acknowledge the fact that his intentions were good, but his approach didn’t agree with them. This way, you will start working on your vision regarding the organization, first by creating space for forgiveness. Anger and resentment cannot help anyone move forward. So, encourage your employees to let go of the past and make room for all the new and exciting things that are coming.

You can’t be a good leader without your team

A common mistake, when a new leader takes over, is that he thinks of himself as a savior for the organization, without considering through his employees. The first thing you need to have in mind when you take on duties is to learn from your employees about their needs, their opinion for your predecessor, identify his mistakes and find ways to avoid doing the same ones in the future. Once you have built relationships with them and they start trusting you, you will see that their performance and productivity will improve. But, to achieve that, you need to make the effort and spend time with them.

As a new leader, try to avoid making the same mistakes as the previous one, have faith in yourself and your vision, and always trust your team and their opinions.