What causes a leader to fail?
The truth is, there are many things that cause failure at all levels of leadership. There is not a specific “formula” for leadership failure, just as there is not a specific “formula” for leadership success. There are however, actions or behaviors that drive a leader toward the path of success or failure.
Below is a list, in no particular order, of our observations as well as feedback we have received over the years from leaders we have coached. It is usually several of these actions, behaviors, or mind-sets combined that lead to leadership failure.
- Demonstrates arrogance or hubris
- Has poor listening skills
- Is not open to other’s opinions or ideas
- Takes credit for other’s opinions or ideas
- Asks for other's opinions and ideas but does not do anything with the information
- Withholds praise or feedback
- Gives too much praise and feedback
- Leads or manages everyone the same way (FYI different people are motivated and encouraged by different things)
- Does not ask for feedback on their leadership or management
- Cannot see the forest for the trees
- Cannot see the trees for the forest
- "Sucking up"
- Demonstrates chosen ignorance
- Displays a lack of integrity
- Is inconsistent or unpredictable in their actions or behaviors
- Acts from a lack of passion or drive
- Shows a lack of vision
- Is always working in overdrive due to too much passion
- Has no accountability for their actions or behaviors
- Does not hold other accountable for their actions or behaviors
- Does not ask thought provoking or clarifying questions
- Solves everything. Does not give the opportunity for others to critically think or problem solve on their own
- Has a “do what I say not what I do” attitude
- Demonstrates a lack of collaboration or consensus building
- Does not value thoughts, ideas, or styles that are different from their own
- Does not see the value in strengths they do not understand or use themselves
- Is inaccessible
- Plays favorites
- Does not develop or promote leadership opportunities in others
- Is not well connected or respected internally and/or externally
- Doesn't know how or when to have fun
- Doesn't know when to be driven or serious
- Has an unbalanced approach to life
- Doesn't create a safe learning environment
- Doesn't know when to lead, when to supervise or when to manage
We would appreciate hearing from you.
Have you experienced a leader with any of these traits? Do you struggle with any of these traits in your own leadership? If so, how did you or are you working through the situation for yourself or with others? Is there anything you would add to this list?
Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic