How to Avoid The 3 Most Common Downfalls of Leaders | Ego, Fear, Money

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This is a follow-up post to my earlier post, The 3 Most Common Downfalls of Leaders. Today, I show you how to avoid those downfalls.

Avoiding the three most common downfalls of leaders is not difficult, but requires intentional effort.

Leadership downfall

Without further ado, here is how you avoid each of the three most common leadership downfalls:

Get constant feedback. 

I’ve written a lot about leaders getting feedback from others and I suggest you read those posts. Most of what I write comes from my own experience getting feedback. The short version, if you don’t read those posts is that I was completely naïve to my failings as a leader. I was headed for a downfall and didn’t know it…until I got feedback.

The 3 Most Common Downfalls of Leaders | Fear-Based, Ego, Money

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Leaders usually fail for three reasons.

Watching the downfall of a leader is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. Living it, as I have, is even worse.

If you have failed as a leader, read this as a reminder of why and learn from it anew. If you are a successful leader, read this as a warning. If you want to be a leader someday, let this be a call to rise above these typical downfalls and lead with unfailing character and principles.

Richard Nixon - Downfall of a Leader

In middle school, I learned the concept of transitive relationship. If A = B and B = C, then A = C.

Leaders are people. People fail. Therefore, leaders fail. Great leaders fail a lot.

But great leaders also avoid these three common downfalls which often lead to fatal failure, the types that end careers, destroy relationships, and are eventually studied by others as examples of how not to lead.

The Power of a Leader | Making an Employee Cry at Work

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Yikes! I have the power to make someone cry.

That realization came to me on a long walk with a good friend and colleague of mine. We were discussing our business and he told me the story of how earlier in the week something he said to a team member made her cry. That made him realize the magnitude of his position as CEO. He was suddenly aware that he had great power and began to wield that power more carefully.

One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to be oblivious to how he/she makes a team member feel.

Let me restate that: One of the biggest mistakes I made as a leader was to be completely oblivious to how my team members felt.

Leader makes employee cry at work
I was 28 at the time my friend told me his story and the world, I thought, still revolved around me, so I pocketed that little nugget and moved on with life. Thankfully I still remember that lesson.

Around that time I had just about perfected the art of making team members cry. The sad thing is that I was completely oblivious to it. Sure, I knew that I sucked as a leader, but I had no concept of the impact I was having on their lives and their emotions.

Overworked and Proud of It: Workload as Status Symbol

Is your workload a status symbol?

Overworked and Proud of It

A recent Harvard Business Review article entitled, Why Men Work So Many Hours, had a passage that totally floored me:

How do the elite signal to each other how important they are? “I am slammed” is a socially acceptable way of saying “I am important.” Fifty years ago, Americans signaled class by displaying their leisure: think banker’s hours (9 to 3). Today, the elite — journalist Chrystia Freeland calls them “the working rich” — display their extreme schedules.

The Voices in Your Head

Your internal voices are usually lies.

 

Lies or truth? Overcoming the voices in your head

WARNING: Most of the following is an excerpt from my personal journal and might make you think I am crazy. I can live with that.

Jon Acuff writes in his book Start about his counselor, Al Andrews, who asked him:

What do your voices tell you?

Al states that:

No one has a positive voice.

Well that is a comforting thought.

How to Make an Employee Cry

One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to be oblivious to how he/she makes a team member feel.

How to Make an Employee Cry

Let me restate that: One of the biggest mistakes I made as a leader was to be completely oblivious to how my team members felt.

My friend and former colleague, Hunter Ingram, once told me that it wasn’t until something he said to a team member made her cry that he realized the magnitude of his position as CEO. He was suddenly aware that he had great power and began to wield that power more carefully.

I was 28 at the time and the world, I thought, still revolved around me, so I pocketed that little nugget and moved on with life. Thankfully I still remember that lesson.

Around that time I had just about perfected the art of making team members cry. The sad thing is that I was completely oblivious to it. Sure, I knew that I sucked as a leader, but I had no concept of the impact I was having on their lives and their emotions.