The Absent Leadership - 5 Types of Absent Leaders

In a world full of noise, clarity is essential to keep sanity in a busy workplace. Leaders lacking essential communication skills not only live a life full of vagueness but also keep their team members on their toes. We don't realize the importance of "leadership positions and roles" as with the perks comes a host of responsibilities.

  The Absent Leadership - 5 Types of Absent Leaders

 An analogy of a bus would do here;if the driver is unsure about the destination then the passengers would be frustrated and lost. The bus could be extremely comfortable with all modern facilities and luxurious amenities but as soon as the confidence of the passengers is shaken the journey would be nothing but a pain. Its the direction rather than the speed and comfort of the bus that is of prime importance. An unclear driver would keep changing his mind prompting some passengers to jump off the moving bus while others would halfheartedly cling on waiting for the right opportunity to do so. 

The Absent Leadership - 5 Types of Absent Leaders

This post in not to define the traits of a leader but rather define the pitfalls and the consequences to the organization and the team of this "Absent Leader". This so called designated leader doesn't have to be away from the "office", this individual just has a special way of being invisible and making sudden appearances just to disappear again.

This is a list of these "Absent Leaders" and their habits:

Santa Claus: This leader appears literally once in a while. No one knows what he does and where he spends his time. He appears, brings brand new information, expects people to adore him while he has made his short presence. People are amazed to see him and a lot of them don't even believe if he really exists. He leaves as quickly as he had appeared leaving people in a lull with a thousand questions and a lot of unfinished business. Somehow this leader thinks and imagines that his organization is doing great and no competitor can even come close to him. His Managers spend their time justifying his disappearance and appearance without having any idea of his adventures themselves. 

Superman: Here's a genius who can fix everything or atleast this is what he thinks. The guy just jumps in a middle of a crisis or even at times in circumstances where things are just going on normally. This "Superman Leader" is mostly nowhere to be seen but surprises the hell out of people by intervening and messing up everything that comes in his path, this is his way of saying "You See" this is how its supposed to be done. Customer relationships are regularly spoiled by him and he takes pride in "Punching the hell out of issues" rather than amicably resolving them. Team member are left licking their wounds and spend a considerable amount of time piecing back broken pieces after he has left. This leader also expects regular accolades from the sycophants in the company and has a reputation of regularly throwing unwarranted tantrums.

Batman: Master of "Covert Operations". You suddenly find out new verdicts, rules and instructions. He's never seen and is an enigma to the company. People fret his messages as they know that its a quiet before a storm. Somehow this leader has some hidden "Inferiority or Superiority complex" forcing him to avoid his team members to the best he / she can. I've had the dishonor of serving some of these characters and I can assure you that they are the most dangerous weapon against sanity.

Transformers: This leader wants to do everything and would talk and get involved at every level of organization. He is a CEO one day and then you find him being chummy with the laborers in the warehouse (chummy in the sense of trying to extract whatever information regarding business or against the supervisors). No one trusts this character as they don not know his chameleon colors and shape shifting techniques and are always on the lookout to protect their base.

Micky Mouse: No one takes him serious and he is mainly concerned in staying in his hole anyway. This leader thinks highly of himself and informs every staff member that he / she is the only trusted by him. The whole company makes fun of him and compares notes of his idiotic ramblings. 

These are toxic leaders, they just don't destroy the organization but also derail the careers of people. Relationships are like plants, take a lot of time to grow and have to be nurtured. The worst part of these leaders is the damage they cause to internal and external relationships.

I have generally found that the only solution to get away from these leaders is to abandon ship by either changing the department or leaving the organization altogether. These leadership styles are usually incurable and are easy transmittable to the teams down the line.

If you are aware of some other kinds of "Absent Leaders" then please share these in the comments section.

Take Care and see you soon with the next article. 

You can contact the author at, Tweets at @kazinajibashraf and Web at

Mohammed A. Jawad Sep 22, 2016 · #4

In brevity, an able leader ought to possess excellent character!

+3 +3
debasish majumder Sep 21, 2016 · #3

#2 i absolutely agree with your views sir. as i personally experienced such leaders in my life.

+3 +3
Kazi Najib Ashraf Sep 21, 2016 · #2

#1 Your observations are on the dot debasish but in today's connected world these individuals tend to create more damage than we could imagine a few years ago. I have seen people at each other's throats while these individuals sit back and enjoy the show,

+3 +3
debasish majumder Sep 21, 2016 · #1

lovely insight Kazi Naib Ashraf. i guess, the toxic characters of leaders you depicted are nothing but the products of the social fabric where we are dwelling and leaders mere bear the reflection of the society. so, i guess, these characters will inevitably reflect on their traits. however, nice insights. enjoyed read. thank you for sharing the post.

+1 +1