16 Ways Leaders Shoot Themselves In The Foot

I’m a big fan of Dan Rockwell (Leadership Freak Blog)
His insights into leadership principles are simple and significant.  With over 450,000 followers, he has become an influencer.
The following is from his September 24 blog.
Lack of effort usually isn’t the problem for most, good leaders.  Their intentions are in the right place, but sometimes their ineptness is all wrong.
Smart people do dumb things and sincere leaders make stupid mistakes.
Here are 16 ways leaders often shoot themselves in the foot.
#1. Going it alone.  
It’s your own fault if it’s lonely at the top.  With technology and resources, it’s easier to connect with the right people that ever before.  So . . .
  • Get a mentor.
  • Hire a coach.
  • Form a leadership group of your peers.
#2. Putting your head down and grinding it out.
There are times when we need to be as tenacious as a bulldog.  Too many times we are 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.  Putting something off may be a cowardly approach instead of a courageous answer.
#4. Failing to acknowledge and compensate for weaknesses. 
Ego thinks it’s good at nearly everything. You’re really only good at two or three things . . . that’s it.  Be self-aware and find a solution within your team for the weak areas.
#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.  There’s nothing wrong with trusting your “gut”.  But save your judgement about people for the facts.
#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.
  • Ask for progress reports.
  • Help inexperienced people manage time.
  • Discuss and identify important deliverables.

Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak, September 24, 2018

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