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7 Top Reasons that Leaders Fail

7 Top Reasons that Leaders Fail

One of the most popular presentations we’ve had from our Technology Innovation & Leadership summits was a presentation by Jeff Anderson, CEO of Lake Forest Graduate School.  The talk was called “Leadership Derailment.”

In this post and the next, I’ll share some of Jeff’s key insights.

Let’s start with how common leadership derailment really is and why it’s important to learn about it.  According to Jeff, studies indicate that leadership failure is very common, and 50% or more leaders fail or “go off track.”  Given the impact ineffective or poor leadership can have on the organization, Jeff feels learning how to avoid this failure and “stay on track,” is essential for all leaders, and I agree.

The good news is if you know the common reasons for failure and can obtain awareness of your own deficiencies or leadership challenges, you can improve your own odds of success.

And, according to Jeff, the research on why leaders fail is very well documented and has been going on for decades.  He mentioned, as an example, the Center for Creative Leadership that conducted long term studies following executives for 20 – 25 years.

What’s amazing, is that all of the research, worldwide, and over time, keeps coming up with the same seven core reasons for failure!

Here’s the top seven reasons why leaders go “off track.”

  1.       Poor Emotional Control
  2.       Integrity and Consistency issues
  3.       Difficulty in building and leading a team
  4.       Relationship issues
  5.       Narrow perspective
  6.       Micromanagement, not empowering
  7.       Failure to adapt

How do you stand on this list?

Do you recognize any of your own weaknesses?

Unfortunately, Jeff indicates that it’s not always easy to identify your own weaknesses.  That’s why Jeff has come up with a simple set of questions you can use to see which issues are ones you should watch out for, and increase your own likelihood of success.

We’ll cover those insights in our next post.

In the meantime, here’s a link to watch the presentation, which I highly recommend!

Updated: February 13, 2017 — 5:19 pm

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