The Six Pitfalls of Leadership

The pitfalls of leadership spring from within.

Dangers that emerge from within are more perilous than dangers that attack from without.

The Six Pitfalls of Leadership:

#1. Perceived knowledge.

“Those who think they know, don’t.” DeBono

We feel like we know because we’re ignorant of what we don’t know.

In other words, ignorance leads to arrogance.

The ability to talk about something gives leaders the idea that they know more than they know.

#2. Isolation and disconnection.

The dangers of disconnection include confusion and delusion.

You cannot effectively utilize the energy, passion, and skill of others until you know who they are and what they do well.

Disconnected leaders gawk with wide-eyed surprise when they finalize realize what it takes to do what others are doing.

#3. Judging others through the lens of your strengths.

We have a tendency to wrongly believe the things we do are more difficult than the things others do.

What’s easy for one is difficult for another.

Trained weight lifters might find lifting 200 pounds easy. An untrained 10 year old might find lifting 200 pounds impossible.

Difficulty is defined by ability and capacity.

The ‘just get it done’ approach of arrogant leaders reflects disconnection.

#4. Failure to take responsibility.

Every complaint a leader makes about the performance of their team is a complaint about their own leadership. The question is, who is responsible?

Dysfunctional organizations reflect dysfunctional leadership.

The burden of leadership is responsibility for the complaints you lodge against the team you lead.

#5. Double standards.

  1. Perks.
  2. Exemption.
  3. Expecting more from others than you expect from yourself.

#6. Self-importance.

Followers give meaning to leadership. No followers – No leadership.

In reality the people who DO the work make leadership.

The thing that makes you important is bolstering the importance of others.

The answer

The lost art of listening protects leaders from pitfalls.

What leadership pitfalls do you see?

What answers the pitfalls of leadership?