Monday, October 6, 2014

Most Dangerous Leadership Mistakes

Patrick Lencioni calls them dangerous because when we do them, we hurt people. At a global leadership summit, he described them this way:

  • Becoming a leader for the wrong reasons. If you're in it for the fame/notoriety, then you're more likely to turn people from being followers to being cynics.  Better to sacrifice yourself for the good of others. He said, "I'm tired of hearing about servant leadership. There is no other kind of leadership." If your leadership isn't serving others then it's just based on economics.
  • Failing to embrace vulnerability. At last year's summit, there was a powerful message from Brene Brown. (Also, check out her TED talk.) Lencioni says if you're not humble and vulnerable then you're like the emperor with no clothes on; everyone's afraid to tell you what's wrong and what needs to be fixed (hmmm, sounds like Mary Barra). Good followers expect us to be competent...and vulnerable. (Followers, be kind and courageous to let the emperor know that there isn't anything 'there'. If your leader is truly toxic, then you may be limited in options.)
  • Making leadership too important. Our position, our 'leadership' is not our identity. If we're all wrapped up in the office accessories, titles, perks, etc., then you might have a hard time giving them up. Imagine if you were fired. You no longer had the title, the office, the company car--who are you then? Is your leadership based on your principles or what it says on your business card?
Heaven help the poor schmoes who follow the leader who commits all three dangerous mistakes.

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