20 Dangerous Traps Intelligent Leaders Stumble into by Accident
Remarkable leadership takes more than talent and intelligence. Intelligent leaders sabotage themselves. Intelligent leaders go blind to reality and fall off cliffs.
20 Dangerous traps intelligent leaders stumble into by accident:
- Confusing smarts with skill. Knowing about and knowing how are wildly different.
- Self-reliance that leads to stubbornness. You run off course when you refuse to adapt.
- Limiting input to the conversation you have with yourself. Self-talk is unreliable when you have a limited perspective (and you always have a limited perspective).
- Neglecting self-care. Prolonged overwork shortens your future.
- Developing others but living on past victories yourself. When self-development lags, arrogance creeps in.
- Resenting the success of others. Nothing makes leaders smaller than hating the success of people around them.
- Ruminating on offenses, failures, and disappointments. Unforgiveness erodes joy. Nitpicking makes you small.
- Focusing on results and neglecting relationships. Success is about results and relationships.
- Telling too much and asking too little.
- Over-protecting talented team members. Many people are capable of more than you think. Coddling makes people weak.
- Saying “yes” but not learning to say “no.”
- Micromanaging. Trusting and empowering team members is key to their growth and your success.
- Giving feedback but not seeking it. Blind spots limit potential.
- Being too risk-averse. Calculated risks are necessary for growth and innovation.
- Prioritizing short-term gains over long-term goals.
- Catastrophizing problems. Dark leaders see problems everywhere.
- Overreacting to challenges. Calmness builds confidence in others. Knee-jerk reactions make you unreliable.
- Not fostering a culture of learning and growth.
- Forgetting to honor progress. Don’t wait for the finish line to celebrate milestones.
- Neglecting fun.
Which traps seem most dangerous to you?
From your perspective, what traps would you add that intelligent leaders fall into by accident?
10 Stupid Things Smart Leaders Do (Written last year without much overlap to the above list.)
Vulnerability: Smart Seems Stupid to Knuckleheads
Why Really Smart Executives Do Really Stupid Things (WSJ subscription required.)
prioritizing short term goals over long term ones..
living on past victories
are the traps that seem dangerous to me from my own work life point of view.
Thanks Dan for helping to use your ideas to get better.
Thanks for jumping in. It’s good to see which ones get traction.
Dan, all the traps you listed are very relevant and happen to leaders.
Assuming the current situation is identical to previous situations.
Assuming the strategy you implemented in industry A will work in industry B.
Wonderful add, Paul. Thank you. NOW THERE’S 22.
Spending time reflecting on the past and contemplating the future while not fully capitalizing on the present.
Thanks Roger. The self-reflection movement concerns me when our reflections are rumination or imagination. I like structured reflection that centers around questions that focus our thoughts.
There’s a place for meditation, but that’s not self-reflection. There’s a place for breathing deep, but that’s not self-reflection.
Living in the past! Leave the rear view mirror and look forward!
The journey is created everyday if we let it!
Often time we chose not to go out of our comfort zones!
Learn what we control and what we don’t!
Concentrate on what we can control, the rest is water energy!
Thanks Tim. Perhaps one of the most dangerous traps is forgetting what we control and trying to control things we can’t control. Life would be so much better if we narrowed our focus.
Having wasted time and energy in my past frivilous moments sure would have helped with important items. Seems like always a lesson on meaningless items. Wish we had known better….
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Thus is a gaslighting. The owner of this post have never tried to lead himself at all. How can you lead others when you haven’t led yourself to be a version you can boldly be proud of with evidence you can prove to anyone. This are not mistake and don’t forget that you can never be skillful without being smart. Olodo.