A worker shops at Target for a Shipt client on September 11, 2020, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Being a leader is not always easy, whether it’s for a small club or for a whole country. Every leader is not perfect and will have some faults along the way. They understand their actions can’t please everyone, but most of the time, they know it’s for the best for the rest of the group. A good leader is not always about the positive traits and qualities the individual has, but it’s also about how they treat the people underneath them.

Just because someone is in a high-ranking position does not mean they should treat their subordinates badly. That’s a common rule that all leaders should know, but often that’s not the case. Almost everyone had come across some form of bad leadership in their life that had affected them in some form of way, and everyone does not deserve to be in that position.

I’ve worked under so many leadership and management styles throughout my life while working in the retail job industry. Some were laid back and did their best to be there for their subordinates while still being firm and authoritative. While others were just not understanding, did not care for the mental health of their workers and were just rude for no reason. Although the bad management experience made me grow a thicker skin, realizing how much that negative experience affected me mentally and emotionally was not okay.

As a leader, especially those in the retail and service industry, should be aware of how their attitude affects the people underneath them. If they’re not going to give their employees or subordinates respect, what makes them think the employees will be satisfied with working under awful leadership? Leaders are supposed to set the tone for the work environment. If the leader exposes negative energy upon their workers, the workers will not give it their all.

Leaders should not purposely make their employees’ lives terrible just because they feel they need to establish dominance toward their subordinates. Yet, they’re confused as to why people constantly quit, and no one wants to work for them. Word will travel fast about terrible leadership, which could potentially damage the reputation of the company. If someone hears a rumor that a place has terrible management, they will avoid working for that place.

As much as someone would like to quit the job, they fiscally can’t in some cases. A lot of workers have some form of bills to pay or have something they would like to save up for. The job market is not easy as it is, especially with COVID-19 going on and putting a halt on the hiring process for some companies. Although quitting and finding work at another place is possible for some, sometimes it doesn’t work that well for some people.

I understand leaders are supposed to be authoritative and create strong workers for a strong work environment. But there are ways to do that without creating a toxic, unhappy setting. Leaders should self-evaluate what they’re doing wrong to create an unwelcoming workplace and learn how to fix or control it. It’s okay for leaders to own up to their faults and change themselves because that will create a great shift in the workplace dynamic.

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