5 (more) Leadership Failures

July 22, 2013

In a previous post, I covered 5 Leadership Failures. Here are 5 more.

1.  Failure to involve your team in setting goals

 “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals –that is, goals that do not inspire them.”Tony Robbins

People are not inspired by your goals; they are inspired by their goals. Organizations that insist on creating their annual goals or strategic plans from the top-down are missing a vital part of their business–their people. The more you involve your sales, operations, and support staff in setting goals and defining how those goals will be achieved, the more successful you will be at achieving those goals.

2.  Failure to correct organizational fragmentation

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” –Vince Lombardi

Internal conflicts, power politics, breakdowns in communication, disjointed corporate goals, and a host of other issues will lead to organizational fragmentation. Fragmented organizations cannot perform well; their employees’ energy, efforts, and focus are simply going in too many different directions. Leadership that allows negative issues to fester will find that they have a more significant problem to deal with down the line–that of disengaged employees, high attrition, or disgruntled customers.

3.  Failure to realize that perfection is not an achievable state

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” –Vince Lombardi

Okay, two Vince Lombardi quotes. He was a great coach; that’s my defense. He knew to distinguish between chasing and achieving perfection, for one thing. And he knew that excellence (a step or two below perfection) could be achieved, provided the team was moving in the right direction. To be moving in the right direction, I should point out, you first have to be moving (see my recent post on making a decision and moving forward). Those that want perfection before they take the first step will forever be stuck where they are. And those that want perfection on the journey will forever be disappointed.

4.  Failure to articulate your vision

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”–Joel A. Barker

Think about great leaders that have articulated a vision and changed the world:  Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and even Adolf Hitler. Great leaders that inspire people to do good (and evil) have vision and can articulate that vision to the masses. Be someone who changes the world for the better.

5.  Failure to communicate

“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” –Strother Martin (in the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke)

Classic line from a classic movie. How do you communicate with those on your team? At CO2 Partners, we suggest to our clients that an important part of communication is to ask questions (Just Ask Leadership). What you say and ask matters, but how you say it matters, too. And nonverbal communication is as important if not more so. The weight of your words is determined by your pace and inflection, your posture, your demeanor during delivery, and most importantly, your ability to listen without forming any judgment on the message being delivered to you. I use Energy Leadership to help clients fully understand how they view themselves and those around them.  The more you are aware of your energy, the more effective you can be at asking questions and being open, without judgment, to the coming message.

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