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The Biggest Leadership Mistakes

And The Inevitable, Destructive Results They Lead To

How leaders lead makes all the difference in how their workforce performs.  


By understanding some of the biggest leadership mistakes, leaders should be better able to recognize when they are about to make one of these mistakes in order to avoid doing so, or at least be more quick to recognize when they have made a mistake in order to take corrective action before more damage is done.


What follows are 16 of the most common mistakes made by leaders and the negative consequences in the workplace that inevitably result.


1… Arrogant Leadership – Displays an f.u. attitude toward staff (leading to a company culture of condescension, clicks, favoritism and hostility).


2… Unaccountable Leadership – Holds everyone else accountable for the failures that occur under his leadership (leading to an organizational culture of blame).


3… Bully Leadership – uses an intimidating approach to drive performance (actually drives under-performance and leads to aggressive or passive-aggressive workforce retaliation and bullying among the workforce).


4… Inaccessible Leadership – Will not listen to the concerns and suggestions expressed by others. (leading to a workforce that delays in complying with – “listening to” - the directives and demands issued by leadership).


5…  Stagnant Leadership – Unwilling to look at his own personal weaknesses and refuses to work on meaningful self-transformation that would lead to personal-professional development (leading to stagnant workforce performance, stagnant company growth and stagnant profits).


6… Absent Leadership – Appears to be absent-minded regarding previous decisions he has made, and does not show up physically at the workplace on a frequent, consistent basis (leading to workforce disengagement, absenteeism and a disregard for leadership's expectations of punctuality and presence).


7… Rash Leadership – Makes rash decisions that demand excessively radical action or change when a more temperate, gradual approach would have led to more orderly and less costly transitions. (leading to a frustrated workforce that does not fully or passionately engage in projects because they expect that they will not be permitted to bring those projections to completion).


8… Undependable Leadership – Creates agendas and then changes them hastily (leading the workforce to question whether directives really need to be followed, resulting in slow, poor or no compliance).


9… Petty Leadership – Demands work from people for the sake of getting them to contribute more even when there is no real contribution made by that work assignment (leading to a resentful, drained, frustrated and uninspired workforce).


10… Competitive Leadership – Fixates on the faults and weaknesses of staff out of the fear that staff-members will outshine him. (leading to a defensive, accusatory culture in the workplace and a disinclination among the workforce to pursue excellence).

11… Unappreciative Leadership – Displays a disregard or condescending attitude toward the talents, abilities, and special qualities that workers bring to the organization (leading to a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem among the workforce that demoralizes them and lowers their performance). 


12… Unstable Leadership – Displays extreme shifts from positive to negative personality patterns (leading to workforce distrust and insecurity, resulting in a non-committed and disengaged workforce).


13… Misfit LeadershipPlaces people in positions not suited to their talents, strengths and skills and fails to place people in the positions that make the best use of their talents, strengths and skills (leading to employee frustration, demoralization and underperformance).


14… Reactive Leadership – Puts processes in place that lead to a crisis and then reacts to the crisis with fearful bursts of blind aggression aimed at quick fixes that fail to address the process that produced them and end up expanding the chaos (leading the workforce to feel misguided, lose confidence in the company, and consider or pursue other opportunities – resulting in a less engaged, and therefore less productive and lower performing workforce).


15… Dishonest Leadership – Dishonest leadership can take many forms, including intentionally misleading, misrepresenting or misinforming others.  A more subtle form is snide insincerity, thinly veiled sarcasm and underlying disingenuousness.  This occurs when the leader puts on a false guise of being caring, supportive, and appreciative.  (On some level others pick up on this, even if it may be subconsciously, leading them to conceal disloyalty and insubordination behind a mask of faithful compliance.)


16… Unconscious LeadershipDoes not recognize the problems that are resulting from his way of (mis)leading, and therefore continues making the same mistakes as conditions continue to deteriorate (leading to an increase in workforce turnover and an accelerating decline in organization performance). 


Because ALL leaders are human, every leader – and every one of us – makes mistakes that fall under the above 15 categories of the biggest leadership mistakes, to some degree and at one time or another.  


All of us therefore need to practice a sufficient degree of self-reflection to recognize when we are committing one of these errors, so that we can go to work on ourselves to avoid causing more damage and to produce better results.


Bring a higher level of leadership peformance to your organization for a more inspired, cohesive, accountable workforce.  
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