REAL leaders, that is, titled-leaders who have good leadership skills (which is not a given), choose to lead not for the sake of leading per se, but because they have a vision of what could be, and they’re out to create it.  They inspire others to join them in creating that vision.

Unfortunately, many titled leaders are in it for other reasons.  Power, prestige, money.  They give lip-service to the Vision, but either their heart is not in it, or, they’re incompetent – that is, as the saying goes: their heart is in the right place, but their head is screwed on backwards.

Either way, as a leader, they’re faking it.  Here’s 10 tells that your boss is a phony:

Doesn’t deliver on commitments and promises;

Talks about caring, but when needed, doesn’t show it;

Doesn’t walk the talk (do what I say, not what I do)

Lays on the false charm (and then talks about people behind their backs);

Is never on deck;

Is always on deck;

Answers in generalities and cliches – never takes a stand;

Parrots the “company line”;

Brags about past achievements – always telling stories about “what I used to do”;


Is nervous when the bigger boss comes to visit.

There has to be at least 10 more.  Everybody’s had a phony boss or two; feel free to add your “tells” in comments.