16 Ways CEOs Shoot Themselves in the Foot

Lack of effort isn’t the problem for good leaders.

Smart people do dumb things and sincere leaders make stupid mistakes.

16 ways CEOs shoot themselves in the foot:

#1. Going it alone.

It’s your own fault if it’s lonely at the top. For goodness sake …

  1. Get a mentor.
  2. Hire a coach.
  3. Form a leadership group of your peers.

#2. Putting your head down and plowing forward instead of reconnecting with the big picture.

Keep your eye on the goal, but adapt as you go.

#3. Putting off nasty jobs and tough conversations.

It’s one thing to prepare, but it’s self-sabotage to delay.

#4. Failing to acknowledge and compensate for weaknesses.

Ego thinks it’s good at nearly everything. You’re really good at two or three things. That’s it.

#5. Listening to your gut on technical matters.

Intuition helps you understand values, but has little value when solving technical problems.

#6. Judging people by the stories you tell yourself about them.

Always confirm your judgement with the people involved.

#7. Repeatedly solving the same problems.

The solution to recurring problems is a process, procedure, or system.

#8. Doing things the way they’ve always been done.

#9. Ignoring low-hanging fruit and quick wins when projects have distant deadlines.

#10 Neglecting energy management.

Always do important work when you’re at your best.

Know when others are at their best.

#11. Doing what YOU think is important instead of aligning with organizational priorities.

#12 Pulling back when you feel misunderstood or under-appreciated.

Give your best because it’s who YOU are, not because you’re recognized or praised.

#13. Underestimating quiet people.

#14. Over-estimating the potential of untested team members.

Test people in small ways before betting the farm on untested employees.

#15. Delegating tasks instead of giving authority.

#16. Failing to monitor performance.

  1. Ask for progress reports.
  2. Help inexperienced people manage time.
  3. Discuss and identify important deliverables.

Which of the above activities seem most detrimental to leaders?

What might you add to the above list?