Have you ever paused to think about why leaders fail? When it comes to building a business or starting any sort of enterprise, being a great leader is essential. However, leading people and motivating them to follow your command in any and every situation can be extremely difficult.
There needs to be an intricate balance of understanding and inspiration that comes from within. Being a leader is about much more than just striving for a dream.
It includes the ability to bring others along with you and help them see how great your vision could be. Unfortunately, without these skills, many attempting to become leaders will fail.
Here are a few key reasons why these aspiring visionaries often can’t keep people behind them in their goals.
First, one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a new leader is to become selfish. This is one factor that explains why leaders fail. Finding yourself in such a prestigious and advantageous position can easily lead down that road.
It’s important to remember that leaders have to live up to the expectations placed upon them. They must be able to complete obligations to their clients and their staff.
If they cannot support their team, and they instead focus too much on their own progression, they will fail. Their obsession over power rather than inspiring those around them will ultimately result in their downfall.
When you start thinking about becoming a leader, it’s important to remain humble.
Remember where it is you came from and what it is you’re starting out to achieve. Keeping this as your focus rather than what you’re able to gain will be a great benefit.
Being an Authoritarian and Not a Leader
Another area that clarifies why leaders fail is the lack of differentiation between being a leader and being an authoritarian. New leaders tend to fail in this regard.
An authoritarian rules by instilling fear and forcing their staff to get in line. In contrast, a leader encourages their staff to try new things and inspires them to do their best every day.
A real leader will never have to make their position known. It will simply be obvious to everyone around them. If you have to demand respect and control then you are already failing.
You will command the control of your business through kindness, understanding, and commitment. There will be no question of your staff following your wishes because everyone will be on board with helping you achieve your goals.
Showing Off The Leadership Title
When a leader cannot offer more to their staff than the title they’ve given themselves, they are already in a bad spot. A title means little if you don’t have the skills or the necessary means to back it up.
A real leader will end up being respected and admired not because of their title, but the value they give to others. Most people tend to overlook this particularly important reason why leaders fail.
When you find yourself constantly spitting your title at employees or even clients, you obviously don’t feel comfortable in your position. The last thing you should be doing, in that case, is trying to lead anyone.
If you can’t convince yourself that you’re a good leader then you’ll never be able to convince anyone else.
Stopping Directing Their Team
When a leader sees that things are going well, they will need to start creating new goals to achieve rather than being complacent. Unfortunately, too many new business leaders get comfortable with where their business is.
Satisfaction can be a great thing, as long as it doesn’t make you complacent. Certainly, this is another inescapable reason why leaders fail. When a leader stops navigating their team towards the future, they are doomed to fail.
Great leaders will always have new visions and new goals to strive for and push toward.
Treating People Badly
One of the biggest issues that causes why leaders fail is being disloyal to their staff and clients. When a leader becomes too focused on their own position they forget who it is that put them there.
When a leader ends up treating their staff badly, it breeds a sense of contempt and anger. These feelings can quickly destroy any endeavor you’ve started. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been able to accomplish or where you’ve been able to go.
Make sure you make your staff feel valued. Feeling like what they’re doing is actually making a difference can be a great way to motivate people.
Another terrible offense that all failing leaders have in common is a problem with greed. Great leaders are able to ensure that everyone on the team is doing well, feeling great, and striving for success.
However, focusing only on yourself and what you’re able to have and do will destroy you and everything you’ve built. This greed is a great cause of why leaders fail. It can come in many different forms.
Of course, there’s the obsession with money and profit. When cash becomes more important than keeping your employees happy, you are setting yourself up for failure.
There’s also greed when it comes to the actual work. If you cannot trust those around you and keep all the jobs for yourself, you’ll burn out long before you become a leader.
Unwillingness to Do Any Job
In short, no matter how many employees are there to help you, your business is your business. As such, you should be willing to do whatever it takes, no matter the job, in order to see it succeed.
When leaders start feeling like certain tasks are beneath them, they are doomed. You must be willing to take on any task that your business requires at the moment, whether this is washing up or dealing with clients.
If your pride is keeping you from doing what needs to be done, you’re on the fast track to failure. This is another reason why leaders fail.
The moment a leader starts thinking that they’re the best and that they know everything is the moment that failure begins. Arrogance is one leading cause of why leaders fail and it is deadly to any type of leader.
Particularly in the world of business, it is essential to keep an open mind and listen to the ideas and criticisms of others. Importantly, you should remember that everyone around you can help make your business better.
Everyone around you has the right to share their ideas and concepts. You never know—sometimes the best ideas can come from the strangest of places.
The best thing you can do is stay humble and motivate your staff to try new and exciting things whenever they can. The more your employees feel you value their opinion, the more likely they are to care.
Staying organized is absolutely key to becoming a successful leader. If you’re unable to keep track of things, how can you ever expect to succeed? Lack of organization contributes as well to why leaders fail.
You are the final decision maker and you need to be sure of every choice that you make. If you cannot keep track of absolutely everything, or have competent people who can, you can’t be sure of what you’re doing, which will ultimately lead to failure.
A lack of organization can lead to poor decision making. It can also lead to being too busy to help where it’s needed and a sense of frustration and anxiety that will ultimately find its way to your staff.
Great leaders need to promote a sense of calm and ease. That way, when things start going badly, your staff will know they can rely on you to see them through the storm.
Over Focused on Building Relationships
It’s true that leaders need to develop and cultivate strong relationships with partners. In addition, they have to navigate a political atmosphere where they are able to keep everyone seemingly in check.
However, becoming obsessed with this idea of keeping everyone happy and making the right kind of allies will ultimately result in them failing to see issues within their own business. Thus, exposing another seemingly insignificant reason why leaders fail.
When leaders become too focused on what’s happening on the outside, they lose focus on the important things. Productivity will ultimately suffer.
Management can get confused and start reaching for goals that were never the objective. A leader needs to balance keeping their team on track with attending to the needs of those on the outside.
Make sure you can create a balance with the politics, but keep your eye always on what’s happening within.
Inability to Give Constructive Criticism
When it comes to criticism, extremes on either side aren’t good. Care has to be taken with this particular cause of why leaders fail.
You need to be able to remove yourself from your staff and see them for who they are and how they contribute.
If there are weaknesses or failures, you must be able to point them out and request that they are addressed quickly and efficiently. This isn’t being cruel.
Complimenting staff when you should be addressing substandard performance will only make them lazy and unmotivated. You need to be able to give your staff the necessary criticism to move them to the next step.
On the other hand, you also don’t want to be too demanding or overbearing. Criticism is necessary, but letting your position get to your head and treating your staff with disrespect will only lead to them abandoning you and your business.
Unreasonable Expectation of Success
The world does not owe you anything. Just because you were able to start up your own enterprise doesn’t mean it’s destined to succeed.
When you start expecting success rather than working towards it, you’re doing not only yourself a disservice, but also everyone around you. This is a sure reason why leaders fail.
The best leaders know that hard work and dedication are necessary in order to bring their business to the top.
When the leader of a company simply expects things to go right rather than doing everything they can to make sure of it, they are destined to fail from the start.
Fear of Competition
Fear can be one of the most detrimental factors and causes as to why leaders fail. This is especially when it comes to the idea of competition. Fear can lead to you condemning other businesses and creating a horrible reputation for yourself and your business.
It can also lead to you questioning the loyalty of your own staff, eventually separating yourself from everyone around you. When you’re unable to let go of the idea that everyone is out to have your position, you’ll wind up completely alone.
A great leader is able to motivate and inspire those around them, not be afraid to bring them up to new levels. Make sure you turn yourself into someone everyone wants to be. That way everyone in your business will work to the best of their ability every single day.
Refusing to Change
Change is a constant part of any business, and the best leaders know how important it is to move with the tides. Stubbornness and a refusal to change will destroy businesses giving credence to why leaders fail.
Change can come in many different forms, and leaders need to be able to handle them all. Whether it’s bringing on new staff members and losing old ones, adapting to new trends in the industry, or even turning your business in a new direction, you need to make sure you lead by example.
If you find yourself unwilling to embrace these changes, your staff will either follow suit or leave you to your own demise.
Lack of Self Understanding
Another key factor to good leadership is a great understanding of oneself. Great leaders need to be completely aware of their own strengths and weaknesses in order to bring out the best in those around them.
If you’re not able to control yourself and know what you should and shouldn’t do, how can you ever expect to successfully lead a team? For example, if you know that public speaking isn’t your strong point, make sure you address your staff in smaller, more intimate settings where you feel most comfortable.
This will allow you to communicate your expectations correctly while also showing your staff how much you value their opinions. Know where you rise and where you fall, so that you can lead your team to the best of your ability.
Great leaders need to be in constant communication with their employees. If you aren’t able to clearly and concisely express what needs to be done, you can’t expect the people around you to accomplish your goals.
There are a wide variety of ways to communicate with those who work for you. You can set up small meetings, send out emails, or even take advantage of instant messaging.
Not communicating by simply avoiding staff and hoping for the best will eventually lead to failure.
Lack of Imagination
While sticking to plans and staying on track is key to any successful business, a good leader must always have a great imagination to work with.
Emergency situations happen all the time, and this can easily lead to you having to create new and exciting innovations on the fly. If you don’t have any sense of imagination, these unexpected situations can be utterly devastating.
Great leaders turn unfortunate events into great adventures by being able to think on their toes and keep everyone feeling great about the circumstances, no matter what they might be.
Indulgence and Complacency
At the end of the day, the worst thing any leader can be is complacent. This is another key cause of why leaders fail.
The moment a leader starts feeling like everything is going great and that no changes need to be made is the moment everything will start slipping through their fingers.
In order to stay on top, you need to stay constantly inspired and motivated and encourage those feelings in those around you.
That way, your business will grow and go farther than you ever could have imagined.
Great leaders are key to the success of any endeavor. However, all too often leaders fall into these traps and end up failing when success was right within their grasp.
Make sure that you are aware of how easy it can be to fail. Also, what factors contribute to failure so you can strive every single day to keep yourself as far from that path as possible. This way you can stay on the road to greatness instead.