Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make

I read a fun article in Golf Digest: "The Top 40 Mistakes Golfers Make." The list included: Wearing black socks with khakis, following a bad shot with a dumb one, and thinking a white belt makes you look hip! It was such a good list I decided to make my own: The Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make. Let me warn you, my list is not as fun as theirs.
1. Being a self-serving leader – People always watch the leader and your actions always reveal your heart.
2. "Leading" without a destination – Call this what you will, but don’t confuse it with leadership... leadership always begins with a picture of the future.
3. Under communicating vision  – The vast majority of leaders, maybe 90% or more, don’t communicate vision enough.
4. Being unwilling to change – The best leaders know, progress is always preceded by change.
5. Confusing hope with strategy – Hope is a wonderful thing, but it is no substitute for a well-conceived, well-executed plan.
6. Keeping someone on the team who cannot do their job – If this is a struggle for you, I recommend Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings.

7. Not walking the talk. [Tweet ""Trust and credibility can be lost in a heartbeat if a leader’s words and deeds are not aligned. "- Mark Miller"]

8. Prioritizing leadership skills over leadership character - If your heart is not right, no one cares about your skills.
9. Not committing to life-long learning Your capacity to grow determines your capacity to lead.
10. Doing what you’ve always done and expecting a different outcome – This is also the definition of insanity.
This was a fun list to make – and it didn’t take but a couple of minutes! Why? I’ve made most of these mistakes myself. The trick… avoid making them more than once![GLS_Shield]
How about you? Send me some of your favorite leadership mistakes and I’ll do another post to share them. You can leave your contribution in the comments section below.

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6 years ago

Mark - great post! Lately, we’ve been discussing how to be an effective sales leader. Your comments about not prioritizing skills over character are very valid and worth consideration for every B2B sales leader. Thanks for your work.


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