One Response to Ten Dangers Leaders Face
Every leader wonders if its worth the struggle, from time to time. Only the naive make light of the difficulties ahead. Washouts line the shore.
The greatest dangers lie within.
10 Dangers Leaders Face:
- Facing disappointment without growing bitter or vengeful. People will let you down. You put yourself on the line for them, and they drop the ball.
- Believing you’re more important than others – loving the spotlight.
- Feeling like you deserve better. Having people assume you have selfish motives, for example.
- Needing to be right.
- Pushing forward when it’s time to pull back. Perseverance has a dark side.
- Choosing to defend your ideas rather than explore theirs.
- Navigating backstabbers, butt-kissers, and yes-men. They can’t be trusted because self-interest, rather than organizational interest, dominates their approach. They tell you what you want to hear.
- Making tough decisions that invite negative responses.
- Repeating the past. If everyone was like you and circumstances didn’t change, you could succeed by repeating the past.
- Thinking knowledge and experience, in one area, makes you knowledgeable in others. Healthy confidence becomes blind foolishness.
Bonus: Fatigue makes you dumb.
Humility, above all other qualities, knows how to navigate perilous seas. But, humility is easily admired from afar.
The biggest challenge of humility is no one humbles you. You humble yourself.
The only way to humble yourself is to practice humility.
7 questions to practice humility:
- How can you make others look good?
- How can you take responsibility?
- How can you connect?
- How can you serve?
- How can you be better?
- How can you remain open?
- How can you address the concerns of others?
Every time you step into dangerous seas, ask, “If I was a humble leader, what would I do?”
What dangers do leaders face?
What inner qualities enable leaders to navigate the dangers ahead?
Insightful and excellent…
Thanks Ken! 🙂
Good points, all, Dan. Especially the bonus. One of the first things we do when our teams are facing a crisis or major event is to ensure that plans are made for when the captain will rest and who will take command during his or her absence.
During last week’s remembrance ceremonies I saw this quote from an order Churchill gave when planning D-Day strategy: “Don’t argue the matter. The difficulties will argue for themselves.”
Are there times when humility may need to be put on the back burner?
Thanks Paul. Just the thought that others will take command takes humility for some of us to accept!
I think false views of humility can be dangerous – things like humility is weak or passive. My gut response to your question is, humility always applies.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks, Dan, great to see you didn’t take the bait. 🙂
Bold decisions that need to be made even when based on limited knowledge and uncertain outcomes still need to be made but that doesn’t mean you need to give up your humility. You can keep the seven questions in mind and still get the tough stuff done! Probably with a better outcome too!
I feel complacency is the biggest danger for me.
I live in an ever changing world and getting stuck in lame old useless stuff that is not valid anymore…..or not as useful as the most cutting edge info…..
Always have to remain incurably curious. If not I am a complete knuckle dragging mouth breathing idiot.
The internal quality I work on everyday is incurable curiosity.
I highly recommend it to folks who just want to repeat over and over outdated info no one is applying usefully.
Cool post Dan, thought provoking, good stuff.
Thanks Scott. Love how curiosity answers complacency. I believe curiosity is an expression of humility. The arrogant aren’t curious because they already know.
I love this post!!
Thanks for sharing your wisdom and inspiration this morning!
It got me thinking that perhaps a humble leader is above all else an ever curious, engaged learner and an ever present, caring teacher.
I’m off to learn and do my best to help guide or coach emerging leaders to connect with their own combination of humility and extraordinary!
Have a great day!
Thanks Lori. I’m delighted that curiosity is rising to the top as a key expression of humility. It gives me hope that we can all navigate the dangers of leadership with a guiding tool.
There is, of course, courage or decisiveness. But, it begins with the humility to stay curious.
Thanks Dan – I try daily to inject a dose of humility – you have enlightened my way of thinking with new perspectives through powerful questions – Regards!
Thanks ckmic. Its a pleasure to share the journey with you. Best wishes
I love the advice about how people will let you down. People get so hung up on that, and don’t realize it’s an opportunity to pick up the slack and exceed others’ expectations.
Thanks Roy. The first time this happens it can be tough to take. It takes awhile to realize that you can’t just close yourself off to these situations. If you did, you’d end up on an island all by yourself.
I struggle with the fine line between humility and humiliation. The heart may express humility, but the ego will suffer humiliation. Practicing humility for me: Leggo my Ego!
Thanks Dunkablog. Your comment indicates that you have experience in this area. Sometimes when practicing humility, it feels like humiliation.
humilty(neuroticism) has many disadvantages too, always seems that the boldest arrogant braggers get resources and get trusted. an humble person can lead itself to growth but will not be followed much in practice
Thanks Tazio. You are right, depending on the values and culture of an organization. The other thing your comment made me think about is the false notion that humility is passive, rather than bold.
Humility as a leader frees others to be bold without fear of repercussion. It enables others to be innovative and take risks they might not take with an arrogant leader. That creates an environment ripe for growth.
Great post today Dan, I especially enjoyed the bonus.
Number 7 is such a wonderfully well made point, how clever and talented you are.
The big challenge is to estabilish the border between humility and naivety, which may be confused sometimes
Thanks Sergio. Perhaps seeing and responding to negative behaviors?? Giving people the shadow of the doubt too frequently?
That’s correct. Humility is mutii-facetted• Egocentrics finds it very difficult to be humble.It is mistaken,generally, sometimes, for weaknss. Balance is necesary in leadership . Fortune favours the humble who is equally bold.
Thanks Abraham. Boldness may come from humbly submitting to an organizations values and vision and then working to bring them into reality. Boldness becomes possible through humility.
So very true.. Very true
Thanks for this post – a great reminder of how a little humility goes a long way!
The 7 steps to humility are a good basis for business networking – thanks. 🙂
Yes, it was a great learning aide worth going back over and over again.