Conquering 12 Deadly Leadership Sins

Leaders who never make mistakes are confused and blind.

The day of savior-leadership is coming to an end. Everyone knows the emperor has no clothes.

If you have it all together, you don’t.

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Deadly sin of ignoring doubt:

Doubt may be wisdom’s voice, not weakness.

Burying doubt, when you feel uncertain, limits leadership. Leaders who can’t question themselves, can’t be questioned by others. But, courageous leaders ask, “What if I’m wrong?”

Courage without doubt is overconfidence.

7 ways to deal with doubt:

  1. Run a pilot program.
  2. Seek advice from someone who has already walked the path.
  3. Express doubts and concerns with your inner circle. Explore what-ifs.
  4. Explain how you’re addressing concerns in public.
  5. Build cultures where learning from failure is celebrated.
  6. Be decisive but stay open.
  7. Admit when you were wrong and press forward. Pretending you were right when you were wrong makes you look like a fool.

Deadly sin of relying on arm-twisting:

Arm-twisting works for awhile. But, when team members feel pressured, engagement goes down.

High coercion results in low engagement.

Validating isn’t endorsing. People engage if they feel heard and understood. But, if their perspective isn’t validated, they dig in, push back, or drag their feet.

8 ways to influence without arm-twisting:

  1. Pull-back when you feel push-back.
  2. Explore resistance.
  3. Ask questions before making statements.
  4. Grasp goals tightly and methods loosely.
  5. Make decisions after considering alternatives.
  6. Change your mind once in awhile.
  7. Explain yourself.
  8. Express gratitude for compliance.

10 deadly leadership sins:

  1. Believing what works for you works for others.
  2. Putting self-interest first.
  3. Neglecting self-reflection.
  4. Vision without execution.
  5. Tying identity to results.
  6. Thinking people serve you rather than the organization.
  7. Adopting leadership methods that don’t reflect your strengths.
  8. Focusing on problems and minimizing successes.
  9. Failure to adapt as you go.
  10. Giving allowances to yourself that you don’t give to others.

Which leadership sins are most deadly?

What suggestions do you have for overcoming leadership sins?

Facebook fans fill in: “The reason leaders fail include _______.”