Chris Kille is the CEO of Payment Pilot and Elevate Outsourcing, operating out of Charlotte, NC.
Good leaders fail. It is an undeniable fact of business and life, yet many people find this a difficult pill to swallow. Why do good leaders fail? After all, a good leader should not be able to succeed in any environment? Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are countless reasons why a good leader with a great vision might fail, and I want to discuss a few of them today.
1. They surround themselves with ‘yes’ people.
I have worked with many leaders, surrounded by people who are afraid to tell them the truth. As a result, they often make poor decisions, mismanage resources and fail to grow their business.
When you surround yourself with “yes” men and women, you don’t get a realistic perspective on your ideas. Things may seem great in your head, but when presented to others, they often come across as bad or even terrible ideas.
The best way to avoid this problem is to hire people who are not afraid to speak up if they see that something is wrong that needs to be corrected. If you want to hire good people, you must first be a good person yourself. You must articulate your values and live those values every day in everything you do and say.
2. They are too fond of their ideas.
You may be a brilliant idea person, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the only one in the room who has a say in how things are done. If you have an idea for a project or initiative, share it with others and ask for feedback before moving forward. And if someone has a better idea, even if it’s not yours, listen to them.
3. They refuse to admit when they are wrong.
A good leader knows that admitting mistakes is essential to growth and progress in any organization. But many leaders fear that they will appear weak or incompetent if they admit their mistakes. While this may be true at first, it is often better than continuing down the same path and wasting only time and resources trying to correct something that should have been fixed long ago. The sooner you realize that admitting your mistakes will make you stronger as a leader, the sooner your business will start growing in a positive way.
4. They don’t reward success.
One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is not rewarding employees who do well. They may fear that if they reward someone for a job well done, others will expect the same. But this is not true; Rewards, such as bonuses or promotions, go beyond just making people feel good about themselves. They also encourage others to work harder so that they too can be rewarded.
5. They don’t realize when it’s time to go.
Even the greatest leaders have limitations. They will eventually peak and then start a downward spiral that leads to failure if they don’t know when to step aside. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who consider themselves indispensable and cannot imagine life without their business. This way of thinking is called ‘entrepreneurial hubris’. As an entrepreneur, be sure to recognize the times when there may be people who are better than you at running your business or organization.
Leaders can be self-destructive if they have bad habits.
If you are a leader and you recognize some of these bad habits, it may be time to make some changes. It takes some effort, but it pays off in the long run. If you need help learning how to change your leadership style, there are plenty of resources to help you out. Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. Good leadership pays off.