Leaders are made; not born. Some may be more naturally inclined than others to lead, however all can learn leadership skills. Leadership is one of the most talked and written about topics. Sadly, many believe a title or position equals leadership. This week we’re going to discuss five fatal flaws for leaders.

The first fatal flaw of leadership is to demand more and not celebrate success. Imagine your leader (boss) has been pushing you to do and achieve more.. You’ve worked hard, put in long hours, and felt the pressure to come through. Finally, you’ve succeeded and you go to tell your boss and…nothing. Just a subtle, “Oh, good job.”  Imagine you’re an athlete and your coach has been pushing to top your personal bests and you do. You’re hard work has paid off. You can’t wait for to hear your coach’s praise, but instead just get, “great, but you can still do better.” If you are a leader you cannot demand more and then not make a big deal out of and celebrate success. This is the number one way to lose the people whom you lead.

The second fatal flaw of leadership to ask people to do things you’re not willing to do. Are you a leader (boss) who says, “Get Going” or “Let’s Go!”? There’s a big difference. The number one rule of leadership is to never ask others to do something you’re not willing to do yourself. Actions speak louder than words. If you want to win over those you lead, be the one who is out front leading by action. You cannot lead from behind a desk. Those days are long gone. Get out and be seen.

The third fatal flaw of leadership is making mountains out of mole holes. A leader has to learn what is a big deal and what is something that can slide by. If you make a big deal out of every little thing those under you will start to feel defeated. They’ll wonder if they can ever do anything right. Learn to delegate and trust. Not every issue requires a meeting. Great leaders are able to take things as they come, evaluate the issue, and make the best decision for all involved. Great leaders are able to do this without turning mole holes into mountains.

The fourth fatal flaw of leadership is micromanaging. It’s the classic case of leading from the top down instead of the bottom up. Great leaders understand they are only as good as their co-workers. They hire and surround themselves with fellow leaders. Great leaders provide a vision, a sound philosophy, a great culture and then get out of the way. Leaders lose trust when they must have their hands in every single thing going on. It screams of insecurity. Micromanaging is one sure fire way to draw the ire of those under you.

The final fatal flaw of leadership is living in the past. If a leader cannot let go of a past mistake it will cripple the organization. Granted, sometimes repeated errors may be worthy of letting someone go. However, if it wasn’t a fatal mistake, leaders must live in the present moment. You cannot worry about the past or fret about the future. Successful organizations have leaders who live in the now. They are only focused on what lies ahead and how to best help others reach their goals. Holding onto past mistakes is another way to irreparably damage your image as a leader.

Leadership cannot be claimed. It is something that must be developed and worked on a daily basis. People don’t care about your position or title. They don’t. They care about how you treat them and make them feel. Great leaders inspire those they work with to bring their best every day. They inspire others to do great work all for betterment of the organization. If you want to be a great leader, avoid these five fatal flaws of leadership.

Remember: Leadership is action, not position.

What are some leadership flaws I left off? We’d love to hear your insight.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.