The 5 Deadliest Leadership Sins

Deb Maes - Monday, September 18, 2017

An overview …

Sin #5: Having a ‘fix problem/s’ focus

For profitability and productivity, it’s not about fixing problems – rather employee engagement. 

Leaders who focus on weaknesses, not only fail to deliver results, their physical, mental, and emotional health suffers from the stress .

Successful leaders pay attention to “tools of the trade”  – how to create the engagement that increases productivity and profitability.

Sin #4: Ignoring your impact on the present culture

Lou Gerstner, credited with turning IBM around through strategic insight, says, “… culture isn’t an aspect of the game—it IS THE game.”

Jim Collins, “You change the culture of a company by changing the behaviour of its leaders. You measure the change in culture by measuring the change in the personal behaviour of its leaders …”

The culture is the organizational equivalent of the character of a person.  Pay attention to culture by paying attention to your behaviour as a leader.

Sin #3: Surrounding yourself with B and C tier players

Insecure leaders fear being shown up as inadequate. As a result, they ensure that no one around them outshines them.

Conversely, John Wooden, the most successful college basketball coach in US history, says, “You’re only as good as your inner circle.”

Your ability to assemble, oversee, and empower great talent is what will make the biggest difference.

Sin #2: Confusing vision with financial goals, recognition, and gain

External results lead to endlessly chasing of ‘more’, with low ROI. Vision inspires to reach beyond one self. It lifts the eye to what’s a worthy investment of one’s life capital.

When your work has the meaning that true vision offers, you become wealthy with personal satisfaction, outward accomplishment, and inner peace and material benefits follow as a result.

You, as a leader, have as much potential as you are willing to claim. It is your choice and your legacy.

Sin #1: The worst sin of all – Considering emotional intelligence and self-awareness is frustrating distractions from the real work.

“WHO YOU ARE speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying.” The degree to which you have identity issues, is the degree to which your behaviour sends mixed signals, which confuses, rather than clarifies.

“…leaders inspire in part because of how they have resolved their own identity issues.” (Howard Gardner).

Invest in self-awareness and self-development… ‘walk the talk’ of your expectations, and you’ll release your team’s full potential.

If you’d like to find out how to avoid these sins and be a compelling leader, check out The Compelling Leading Model

This blog is inspired by Gene Early, PhD Leadership and Organizational Change, Author of ‘3 Keys to Transforming Potential; An Accelerator’s Guide to the CEO Within’ & ‘Leadership Expectations: How Executive Ecosystems, edited by Deb Maes.