Where Leaders Go Wrong – Great Leaders Don’t Always Stay Great

The road to become a great leader can be difficult and demanding. Becoming a top level leader, and staying there, require ongoing effort. Some of the most important requirements for sustained success are self-awareness, ongoing personal development and the ability to change and grow, and adapt to emerging challenges and requirements.

Leaders that fall often do so because of arrogance. They read their own headlines and start believing them to the point where they think they can do no wrong and are invincible. The once great, have stopped listening and being open to input from others. They often associate only with those that support their viewpoint in order to justify and rationalize their position or actions. The phrase “if we all agree, we must be right” describes their flawed thinking and clouded perspective. By surrounding themselves with “yes” men and women, they ensure their views become the norm and their objectives are implemented; sometimes regardless of the outcome and their negative impact.

These leadership challenges are not limited to business. They impact everything from churches to volunteer associations and community groups whose mandate is to improve the lives and circumstances of others and often end up doing the exact opposite.

If you are a leader and are committed to being good and even great, consider the following signs as early indicators of a potential slide or blind spots.

  • Lack of humility
  • Not listening to others
  • Withdrawing and becoming reclusive
  • Justifying your position
  • Lack of openness and objectivity
  • Not allowing your decisions to be questioned or challenged

Fallen leaders weren`t always arrogant. Total authority and power, along with the passing of time has led to a loss of openness, willingness to listen and hear different perspectives, to challenge themselves, to question and probe(s) issues deeply. Humility is lost and narcissism and vanity become the hallmark of a fallen or sliding leader.

To remain a great leader, or re-establish your leadership position, you must realize that what matters most are your behaviours and actions. Those are what others observe and decide to follow, or not.

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