Updated: Sep 30
Most of us live with flaws in our leadership. Good leaders learn to surround themselves with people who can supplement and complement their weaknesses.
There are, however, some leadership traits, which a leader can never delegate away. If the leader can’t work through them, in my opinion, his or her leadership will be crippled. With these traits, the best the leader has to offer will never fully materialise.
These leadership traits will eventually wreck a leader’s success.
Immoral character – If the leader’s character is flawed, the leadership will be flawed. A leader can never escape the quality of his or her heart.
Assuming everyone’s support – Leaders seldom hear the complete story unless they pursue it. Environments have to be created that produce transparency and honesty. Even in the healthiest organisations there will always be things a leader doesn’t know.
Assuming everyone understands – In my experience, most leaders think they are communicating effectively. What’s clear to them they assume is clear to others. It’s usually not as clear as the leader thinks. Good leaders ask lots of questions to identify the level of clarity.
Continually avoiding conflict – Conflict never, ever, ever, goes away. Ever. Unresolved conflict damages the strength and integrity of organizational health. It may get ignored, overlooked, or stifled, but until conflict is dealt with it continues to stir strife in an organization.
Pretending to have all the answers – The less a leader listens to others, the less willing others will desire to help the leader succeed. Arrogant leaders never attract the best from people. Great leaders invite input, knowing that with more people involved, decisions will be stronger and more buy-in will be achieved.
Allowing friendship to derail progress – Great leaders value relationships and recognise friendships with others as an important part of their personal well-being. At the same time, some leaders fail to separate their friendships from their callings as leaders. They confuse loyalty as a friend from their responsibility as a leader. A leader cannot allow personal friendships to negatively alter the course to success.
Refusing to let go of control – When the leader doesn’t delegate, he or she stifles the growth of the organisation. Healthy delegation involves releasing authority over a project. If a leader continually maintains the right to control, the organisation will be limited to his or her abilities, rather than the strength of the team.
Living in the past – Unless you’re a teacher of history, the leader’s primary focus needs to be on the future. Leadership is about moving things forward. That requires progressive thinking, welcoming change, and refusing to let past failures determine future success.
Adapted from an original article by Ron Edmondson