Nobody is born lucky. Granted, some people are born into more favorable circumstances than others, but success is more dependent on the efforts of the individual than on circumstances out of his/her control. Most of us have that one – maybe more than one – person in a position of power that we look up to because they do what they do so well. They excel at leading others. It may feel like an innate ability is required before someone can lead well, but a good leader in addition to doing things right, is also avoiding these habits.
- Do not value the input of others: Many people in positions of power – most often in the workplace – believe that they have been put in a position of power because they are smarter than everyone else. As such, they don’t request for the opinions of their subordinates and when opinions are given, they flat out refuse to take them under advisement. When it comes to making decisions, deciding strategies and solving issues, they make these calls autonomously, without regard for any outside opinion.
- Poor communication: Communicating properly the problems you face and the steps to be taken to fix them are vital to the success of any team. Unsuccessful leaders either don’t fully understand the problem or lack the proper communication skills to get it across to their subordinates. When such leaders communicate, it’s more of talking at their subordinates and less of exchanging ideas with them..
- Inability to inspire and motivate others: This is probably the most devaluing quality of unsuccessful leaders. They cannot motivate and inspire their subordinates. Knowing how to push people to get you results is good, but you must also know how to pull your followers after you. Most leaders who only know how to push are described by their subordinate as autocratic and lacking in enthusiasm. While inspiring people to achieve more is a difficult task, a leader must master this skill if he/she is to succeed.
- They are poor role models: Unsuccessful leaders often feel like the rules that apply to their subordinates don’t apply to them. They think it’s okay to say one thing and do another, because they are superior. Unknown to them, subordinates notice everytime they do this and it slowly but surely reduces the respect they have for them.
- Mistake stubbornness for determination: “It’s not over until I win” is not a bad mantra to live by but knowing when to quit because an approach does not work has its merits. Do not mistake stubbornness for determination. Attempt to change your methods if they do not work for you. Unsuccessful leaders remain stuck in their ways even when they have been proven time and time again not to work.
- Love to make excuses: Being accountable for your actions is another sttribute of an effective leader. Because a lot of things don’t go as planned, some leaders never accept responsibility for their actions because it could have a negative impact on their careers. They either have someone to blame or a good excuse to give if something goes wrong. Taking responsibility for your actions only makes a leader appear more responsible both to his subordinates and superiors. If you’re always passing the buck, people start to take you less and less seriously.
- Remove anyone who doesn’t support them: Unsuccessful leaders feel like it’s their job to get everyone solidly behind them. Anyone with a contrasting mindset, or who doesn’t believe in their methods must go. This is, however a dangerous method of operating in business. Firing people who don’t have the exact same vision as you do only eliminates those who could give proper advice on correcting problems as they arise.