Top 25 Dumb Mistakes Leaders Make

Yesterday I asked the Leadership Freak Coffee Shop on Facebook: “What’s the dumbest thing you’ve seen a leader do?”

This morning while going for coffee with a local business owner, I ran into a friend and asked them the same question. In a short time they easily listed three dumb things. It got me thinking about mistakes leaders make so I wrote down my own list for your perusal.

After reviewing the list, let me know what you think the top three mistakes are. Feel free to add your own dumb mistakes to my list of twenty-five.

  1. Creating complexity.
  2. Losing sight of vision while focusing on details.
  3. Using the same relational-methods with all employees.
  4. Assuming people know what they’re thinking.
  5. Giving conclusions without explaining thought processes.
  6. Interrupting.
  7. Relying too heavily on email for communication.
  8. Blaming.
  9. Lying.
  10. Listening to critics that don’t share organizational values.
  11. Talking while in the heat of emotion.
  12. Creating urgency and then not following through.
  13. Focusing on problems rather than solutions.
  14. Hiding in the office.
  15. Wasting time in unfocused meetings.
  16. Intimidating.
  17. Not managing others emotional energy.
  18. Neglecting their energy.
  19. Postponing tough conversations.
  20. Paranoia.
  21. Partiality.
  22. Not providing timely feedback.
  23. Preaching teamwork while rewarding individual performance.
  24. Focusing on low performers while neglecting high performers.
  25. Tolerating behaviors that create office drama.


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