10 Reasons People Think Taeyeon is a Weak Leader
Taeyeon leads the now 8-member group of the arguably most popular Korean girl group, Girls Generation. They are acknowledged as one their agency's cash cow and many of its members now have successful individual careers.
When you are the leader of such a group, love and hate come with the territory. It is expected for Taeyeon to receive a lot of both.
However, it is undeniable that she gets considerably more hate than what other leaders are getting. It has gotten to a point where Taeyeon has threatened to file legal action against people posting hate comments on her social media accounts. This leads us to a examine why there are many people who consider her a bad leader.
This post does not necessarily agree that she is indeed a bad leader but simply examines why she is perceived to be one.
#1. Girl's Generation Never Gained Creative Control Over Their Own Music
One of the most common criticism about SM is that very rarely do the idols write their own music. However, if people care to be objective, SM actually does allow their idols to writer their own music provided it is at par with their standards. DBSK, even when they were still a five-member group, already had their members writing their own music. Yunho writes his own raps and the two write lyrics and dictate the creative direction of DBSK. Shinee is has been known for progressive and edgy concepts and much is credited to the collaborative effort of the whole group. EvenSuper Junior members that used to be known as the DBSK leftovers have all worked together as a group to practice some control over their creatives.
Girls Generation, although well-loved and definitely successful doesn't seem to have any sort of creative influence over their image or sound. They were sexy innocent girls when they launched and they are still sexy innocent girls 'till now.DBSK has bravely fused different sounds. Super Junior has incorporated humor, grunge and pop. Shinee is now edgy and
progressive. Even Exo changed from classic pop to vintage pop. Girls Generation is still cute and sexy.
It can be argued that SM simply exercises control over their but how come all these other groups have progressed and Girl's Generation has not? Isn't it her responsibility as a leader to stand up and realize this and talks to SM management about progressing SNSD? Yes. Is it a bad thing? Your guess is as good as mine but the point is that this is a Girl's Generation weakness and she's the leader.
#2. Her Members Outshine Her
There are many leaders in Kpop that are being outshined by their members but it is undeniable that it is rare for a superstar group leader to be outshone as much as Taeyeon is being outshone by her members.
Eventhough Dara is the most popular in 2NE1, CL has remained the busiest musically. Sulli was the most popular in f(X) but Victoria held her own. Even CAP of Teen Top has made his mark even when Niel remains the most popular member. Then, there's Sun of wonder Girls (when they were still a six-member girl group. Almost each member had a solid career but Sun was not far behind.
Many leaders don't or rarely appear on variety shows alone, like CL, Seungho, and even Suho of EXO. Their member are far more prominent but almost no one in the degree by which Taeyeon is outshone.
Many fans would of course argue that a sign of a good leader is allowing the members to shine and putting the members above them. Many leaders managed to do this but still not get lost in the shadows of the members. There is Eric of Shinhwa who actually never had a solo singing career. There is Moon Junyoung (Lee Hoo) who even took a hiatus. There is Onew of Shinee. There is Park Cho Rong of Apink. All of these leaders have essentially humbled themselves to let their members shine to a point where they are perceived to be "pushovers" at times. They, however, don't lag behind in terms of individual and leadership recognition as much as Taeyeon.
#3. The Members Didn't Stop Her When She Wanted to Step Down
Taeyeon famously told the story of her telling her members that she wanted to resign as the leader. She was expecting for the members to stop her from resigning but they simply let her resign because they all felt the group has been going on without a functioning leader for some time anyway. It was only after several discussions did the members actually told her she should stay as the leader.
It became a testament of how SNSD may have had a "paper leader" but has no actual leader.
#4. Lack of Vision
This is connected to number one. Leaders are known for having a vision as to where the future of the group is going. Yunho shared how they are beginning be more experimental in their sound because they anticipate that age will catch up on them. Jung Yonghwa openly shared about how they want to jump from one genre to another. Even Moon Junyoung (Lee Hoo) of the not so popular ZE:A shared his vision for ZE:A to take control of their own career and create a more distinct image. These things don't necessarily come from the leaders. In fact, it's the members that often talk about the leader.
Taeyeon doesn't seem to have anything. She does not share her vision for the group and her members, with all their talkativeness and profession of love for the group, does not share anything about how their leader leads them to creative progress.
#5. Other Members Don't Publicly Talk About Her Leadership That Much
Leeteuk is another leader that seems to get a lot of hate but the hate is tampered by the support of the members of Super Junior. They often talk about how the leadership of Leeteuk is the biggest reason they are all still together. They all profess that they are able to make fun of Leeteuk because Leeteuk managed to establish his authority without being stiff.
Taeyeon's leadership is rarely fondly addressed by the members. They talk about the love between the group but they rarely pay tribute to the importance and value of Taeyeon's leadership.
#6. Seohyun is Acknowledged as the Group's "Actual Leader"
In many variety shows, the group often regard Seohyun to be the one that sets rules and discipline in the group. They mention this consciously and casually. One noticieable display of this is in Running Man in Episode 63. They got into the car and Seohyun immediately reminded Haha to drive carefully. Jongkook confirmed that Seohyun is the "organizer" in the group.
Seohyeon is the one that keeps tabs of their schedules and the one the keeps tabs of their commitements.
In other shows, everyone acknowledged that Seohyun is very strict in how their dorm is run and rules that must be followed. She is also the most attentive when it comes to the needs of other members. She looks after everyone.
“I would like Taeyeon unnie to be the leader, but like Hyoyeon unnie said, I think she’s carrying a lot of burdens by being in that position. So, I’ll just leave it to the unnies.” - Seo Juhyun (Strong Heart Ep.11, 2009)
#7. Girls Generation Never Evolved
Still connected to Number one, Girls Generation has not matured. They are still money makers and from the point of view of business, there is no reason to fix something that is not broken. However, part of being a leader is being able to pivot a group towards progress and growth.
It is certainly the responsibility of the leader to set a vision, the mere fact that SNSD has not grown up means Taeyeon has none. She doesn't have to be selfish in that vision. She could very well asked all the members to participate in creating one but the mere fact that Girls Generation sound has remained the same means she either failed in leading the group to come up with a vision or she failed in leading the group to implement it.
Again, it may be argued that SM is clipping their wings but it's the leader's responsibility to fight for the group.
#8. No Interesting Individual Identity
She is supposed to have the best voice in the group and yet, she has had no individual career. Hyorin of Sistar manages to have solos that establishes her unique sound. She just hits high notes, that's about it. Does that reflect on her leadership skill? Maybe not but it is a sign of how weak creative maturity is.
#9. SM Doesn't Seem to Give Her the Leader Treatement
Yunho, Leeteuk, Onew, Suho and Victoria all get some sort of a special treatment for being a leader. They get more opportunities for solo projects and are regarded with some respect in the agency. Taeyeon doesn't seem to get this as evidenced by the lack of individual activity, individual marketing and special PR.
It seems that among the leaders in SM, the only they give her is high notes in their songs.
10. She Doesn't Have the "Leader Aura" and It's Not Just Because She's Dorky
Probably no one will beat Onew for dorkiness. He is also known for being a "tofu" for falling and tripping all over the place. Who will forget his scandal?
There is Jokwon is is often made fun of by his members. Yet, the respect they have towards him can be felt. They all profess on how much Jokwon contributes to keeping the group together. Even now that each member has gone their different ways, they consider Jokwon as their leader.
Taeyeon's dorky and introvert personality should never be an excuse for her not having that "leader aura". She just doesn't have it.
Again, this is not to say that these reasons are valid and that Taeyeon is actually a bad leader. This article only aims to provide reasons why people she is a bad leader.