Persistence, Over-Reflection, and Other Leadership Blunders
Mistake #1: Not learning from mistakes.
My biggest mistake was not learning quickly from mistakes. I chose persistence over reflection.
- Reflect on relationships. Move quickly toward failing relationships to see if they might be strengthened.
- Protect people from themselves. Success gives leaders permission to ignore or make excuses for their frailties.
- Strengths have fatal flaws. Suppose you’re a talented organizer, for example. Too much organization is stagnation.
- Ask yourself, “What if I’m wrong,” when you think others are wrong. Boldness without openness is stubbornness.
Mistake #2: Not learning from success.
Success teaches you what to repeat, just be sure you’re repeating the right things.
- Breakthroughs happen when you change something. But, after a breakthrough, you mistakenly think that doing the same thing over and over will result in more breakthroughs.
- Others are contributing more to your success than you’d like to believe.
- How much of your success is about good fortune? You were in the right place at the right time, for example.
- What does joy caused by success tell you about yourself?
Mistake #3: Focusing on problems more than solutions.
The danger of problems is their ability to capture our attention. Lousy leaders solve problems. Successful leaders pursue solutions.
- Problems are useful when they help you clarify what you want. “Don’t-want” leadership de-energizes.
- You’ve already lost when you forget why you’re hacking away in the weeds.
- Keep asking, “What do I want?”
- Point to the big picture, when teams get lost in the weeds.
Mistake #4: Allowing someone’s inabilities to overshadow their abilities.
Leaders unleash the inner genius in others. (Inspired by Liz Wiseman.)
- Weaknesses have corresponding strengths. Tolerance is essential, if you want to leverage someone else’s strengths.
- The thing that drives you crazy about someone may be their genius.
- It’s desirable for others to be different from you.
What are some big leadership blunders?
What have you learned from mistakes?