You are currently viewing 7 Significant Indicators of Helicopter Leadership In 2024

7 Significant Indicators of Helicopter Leadership In 2024

A helicopter leader exhibits the same traits as a helicopter parent but in the workplace. This entails that managers who can’t let employees operate independently because they are excessively involved in their every action fall into this management group. If you don’t monitor your actions, you might engage in helicopter leadership, which would have a severe impact on the performance and well-being of your team members. 

What is Helicopter Leadership?

Helicopter leadership means too much involvement in the work of an employee in a way that is over-perfecting and overcontrolling.  It means paying extremely close attention to the employees and rushing over to prevent any loss to the organization. Helicopter leadership impacts employees psychologically. Here, personal boundaries are distorted, subsystems are not distinguished, and a feeling of fear prevents the formation of independent systems.

Who is Helicopter Leader

Helicopter leaders are the leaders who hover and hinder the ability of staff members to resolve issues, make decisions and continuously develop their marketable skills. A helicopter leader exhibits the same traits as a helicopter parent but in the workplace. This entails that leaders who cannot let employees work independently because they are excessively involved in their every action fall into the management group.

Traits of Helicopter Leadership

The primary objective of helicopter leaders is to micromanage their employees. They feel the need to constantly supervise and direct their staff members when they are working. The following are the traits of helicopter leaders;

  • Helicopter leaders and remote helicopter bosses frequently check in with their personnel by email, phone calls, or texts and overburden them with pointless meetings, both online and in person.
  • Helicopter leaders leave their staff members feeling discouraged, unproductive, and isolated.
  • Under helicopter leadership, teams may eventually split off and become dysfunctional, which will have an impact on the organization as a whole.
  • Helicopter leaders are micromanagers which boils down to trust. In micromanagement, you probably feel that you cannot trust someone to function well without your involvement or presence.

Also Read About: Collaborative vs Directive Leadership – Which One to Use?

7 Signs That Show You Are the Helicopter Leader

Are you a helicopter leader? Or you are not sure about it. Here are some signs which show whether you are a helicopter leader or not; 

1) If You Are Not Letting Go 

A helicopter leader doesn’t let go of the work as he does not trust his staff members that they can complete it correctly or to his standards.  Helicopter leaders keep performing the duties that their staff is compensated to complete. They limit their marketable skills by not letting them perform the work they are being paid to do.

2) Is Productivity Declining?

There is a good possibility that helicopter leadership is at blame if the employees’ productivity is low. As being continuously questioned or observed by a leader makes it difficult for employees to remain productive and motivated.

3) Is The Morale of Employees Consistently Dropping?

Employee morale can be negatively impacted by helicopter leadership styles in any situation. Evaluate whether the lack of autonomy that comes with a helicopter boss may be causing your team to be disinterested in their work.

Is The Morale of Employees Consistently Dropping?

4) You Don’t  Have Faith in the Decision of Staff Members

The helicopter leader overturns decisions or demands of his team member if they make any decision without his consent. They don’t provide team members the tools they need to develop the ability through which choices can be made, good or bad. They don’t let them deal with the consequences of a bad choice on their own as well. 

5) Is There A Very High Turnover Rate? 

Under helicopter leadership, staff members feel micromanaged. Due to leaders constantly hovering over them, they are more inclined to search out other job positions with trustworthy employers who have faith in their capacity to accomplish the job well.

6) Are You Exhausted? 

When you experience worry, overwhelm, or tiredness, it may be time to take a step back and offer your staff more freedom. Instead of micromanaging the team check in occasionally with them.

7) You Are Never Satisfied

Helicopter leaders are never satisfied with the performance of their employees. They constantly feel the urge to correct them because they are always lacking something. Your responsibility as the leader is to inform the employees when they perform a task improperly. Yet most of the time, they do a fantastic job, but you still think it needs improvement.

Also Read About: 12 Ways Exceptional Leaders Spend Their Time Effectively

Consequences of Helicopter Leadership

This type of excessively controlled leadership, even though done with real intention, has some severe consequences that most leaders are not aware of. The following are the consequences of helicopter leadership; 

1) Underdevelopment of Employees’ Ability

Helicopter leadership implicitly involves leaders taking decisions for their employees, reducing their need to resolve problems, and stopping them to make their decisions. The word “doing” refers to doing something oneself, making mistakes and falling, and then learning how to do it better the following time. The effectiveness and connectivity of this area of the brain are improved as a result. The development of an employee’s ability to solve problems and make decisions may be hampered by a helicopter leader.

Underdevelopment of Employees’ Ability

2) Low Confidence and Self- Esteem

Helicopter leaders backfire.  The over-involvement of the leaders makes the employees believe that their leaders do not believe them if they do something by themselves. This leads to a feeling of lack of confidence and self-esteem. When we lead this way, we deprive our employees of the opportunities to solve problems, be creative, develop resilience, and build coping skills.

3) Aggression and Meanness

Research shows that employees worked under intrusive helicopter leaders tend to be meaner or more hostile toward other employees. Because they worked under extreme leadership control. When those employees become leaders, they assert dominance. They try to control the lives of their subordinates. As such, they tend to become dominant and less patient. 

Learning Leadership with Best Diplomats

There are many styles of leadership in order to lead effectively. Helicopter leadership has not been considered effective leadership because of its negative consequences. If you want to learn effective leadership, you are on the right platform. Best Diplomats is offering multiple opportunities to learn different styles of leadership including collaborative leadership, participative leadership, directive leadership as well as hybrid leadership

Learning Leadership with Best Diplomats

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There is a variety of factors that shape the ability of employees in an organizational framework. Leadership plays a vital role in making and breaking the morale of employees. The overcontrolling and over-perfection nature of helicopter leadership not only discourages the employees but also has negative impacts on the personal and professional growth of employees. Mostly, under helicopter leadership, employees get frustrated and look for better opportunities. Helicopter leadership is one of the major reasons for employees’ high turnover, which ultimately leads to the decline of the growth of an organization. 


What are the three disadvantages of the helicopter leadership style?

In helicopter leadership, the number of disadvantages is higher than the advantages. The main three disadvantages include lack of respect for employees, less- confidence, and underdevelopment of employees.  

What are the 5 signs that you are a helicopter leader?

These are the five signs that show whether you are a helicopter leader or not when you want to control everything, you feel superior, meet monologues, you are never satisfied and you fail to delegate. 

What is the helicopter view in leadership?

The successful project manager has a “helicopter view”, which seems as one of the qualities.  This is the capacity to focus on the details while also allowing oneself to view the bigger picture.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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