He's a leader without teeth, and it ends up costing him dearly. He reveals to God that he loves pleasing his kids more than pleasing God. This continued pattern enrages God, and he says, "The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of the members of your family, so that no one in it will reach old age, and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life" (2:31-33). Major ouch!
The best leader is also the best servant. As a servant, the leader serves to ensure his flock move in the right direction. It it is not a service to lead them into peril. Serving in leadership can mean making course corrections, and sometimes a course correction requires discipline.I wonder how things would have turned out for Eli if he had the balls to punish his sons.