Top 8 Reasons that Cause a Leader to Fail
There is a lot of discourse around what ensures success in leadership, however, much needs to be said about what leads to failure in leadership. This listicle will aim to cover some key reasons of leadership failure:
- A leader is made by their people- Relationships are key: A leader is someone who directs people. A lot of trust and support is needed from followers in order to be led effectively. To sustain this relationship of faith, a leader must spend enough time to understand their employees. To effectively manage change a leader must have all their employees on board. When a leader fails to remember this basic tenet it only spells doom for the leader.
- Listen to the talent you hired- Micromanagement: There is often strife between a leader and follower when it comes to the direction and the way work needs to be done. Employees find it stifling when the leader constantly dictates how employees should go about a task. This can result in resentment, lack of trust and overall dissatisfaction. This ultimately serves to lower motivation and at times drive away talented employees. When you begin to ask the right questions to get in depth answers, perspectives and solutions from the team members, not only do you build greater engagement but also a followership.
- Need to direct people: While micromanagement is always a deterrent it’s important to realise the brevity of direction. The employees are constantly working with a “worm’s eye view”, and as a leader one is constantly looking at things from a “bird’s eye view”. It often helps the employee to gain the perspective from which the leader talks. It helps channel the right energies in the right place which always brings exciting prospects thereby increasing motivation levels of the employees.
- Clarity within and while communicating a vision: It is undeniable that having clarity while leading a team is essential for success. Clarity offers concrete steps to help teams achieve the vision laid out by the company. It is imperative that a leader spends a lot of time in understanding their own thoughts and ideas, draws out steps/milestones and is consistently sharing the same message to achieve the shared vision. A team without clarity is the embodiment of chaos.
- Self-Care: Being a leader can sometimes feel like a constant uphill battle. One has to constantly think and operate from a larger perspective, decide on the “next big thing”. This can be very draining and cause a lot of fatigue. Without proper tools to combat this fatigue it can lead to severe burnout. A burnt-out leader is unable to effectively function and offer guidance to the team. The self-care routine can be weaved into the leader’s time and offer the much-needed succour from the hectic lifestyle.
- Avoiding risks- Not flexible or adaptable: A well agreed path to growth is that of risk taking. It is and must be second nature to indulge in risks, as risks offer great opportunities and learning. It ensures that there is a constant movement of ideas and practices. Of course, risks will understandably lead to failure at times however it is these failures that become crucial in preventing bigger failures and ultimately accelerate success.
- Failing to look at the bigger picture: Sometimes a leader can stress so much about the finer details that the larger picture seems to get diluted or gets put on the back burner. A leader’s role is to look at the bigger picture and offer direction. At times employees may seek guidance from the leaders however it does not mean that a leader solely dedicates their time to only problem solving. It is important to be a balance of both – an operational and a visionary leader in order to truly succeed.
- Assumptions: Perhaps the biggest faux paus of a leader is that of making assumptions. Assumptions lead to a breakdown of the communication machinery and breed contempt. It creates a culture unconducive for talents as there is really no scope to explore and try new things. This kind of an environment not only stifles the growth of the employee but the organization as a whole. All of us are bound to have preconceived notions, some conscious and some unconscious. The leader should try to be the first to recognize this and ensure that their own biases and assumptions do not colour the organizational climate.
It’s very important for a leader to listen, learn and take the leap to support their employees. It’s crucial to remember that leadership is a journey that one undertakes with followers, despite few hiccups establishing that sense of trust and belonging with followers is crucial. Enlisting support of a coach or a mentor can really help rectify issues and acquire newer skills.
With effective coaching and training these factors and influences can be mitigated. Interested to learn more about our programs at Human Dynamic? Feel free to write to us.
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Msc Psychology (Counselling), PGCR (CAT)
Consultant & Client Relationship Manager