There are no leaders so skilled, strong, or successful that they are above potentially failing in leadership. In Jim Collins book How The Mighty Fall he said, “While no leader can single-handedly build an enduring great company, the wrong leader vested with power can almost single-handedly bring a company down.” Someone who fails to effectively lead is a detriment to themselves and their team. I have found these three reasons why a leader fails:
1. They fail to lead self well- To influence those around you requires self-leadership. If a person can’t lead themselves well then they will never gain or expand their influence. Remember, influence starts on the inside. To lead yourself well means you know yourself, control yourself, and live out your core values and beliefs. Jim Whitaker wisely said, “You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.”
2. They stop navigating- If a leader expects to move a team or organization forward it requires navigation. A navigational leader uses a clear vision and specific goals to move everyone toward the desired future. Leaders need to set and then keep track of their people’s progress (While avoiding being a micromanage). To make sure each team member is working in areas of strengths while doing their individual part to advance in the direction of the organizational purpose and vision. Leaders who stop navigating will see division of the team, loss of momentum, and low results.
3. They are not relational- Being a relational leader is essential when it comes to effective leadership. Being a relational leader means that you are intentional about connecting and building relationships with those around you. To better build relationships I highly recommend reading Joe Lalonde‘s recent post titled: 3 ways to create a relationship as a leader. Those who don’t build relationship with team members will fail in leadership. Invest time and energy into connecting and building deep relationships with those around you.
Question: Can you add to the list? What other reasons cause a leader to fail?