One of the most serious things a leader can do is to lose touch with those they lead and represent, forgetting their role is to inspire rather than dictate. It is being the omnipotent director rather than the steward and public servant.
And there are still other qualities: indecisiveness, not giving credit where it is due, lacking boldness and action-orientation, treating symptoms rather than causes, being close-minded, and confusing managing with leading:
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Some leaders simply don’t, or can’t, lead. They fail to provide the management, the guidance, the expertise that is required. There has to be a place where the buck stops, and you have to be a decision maker if you’re a leader. You have to be someone who is not afraid to make a decision.
One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is not giving credit where it is due, or taking credit for what others have accomplished. I see this a lot.
Leaders must not be shrinking violets. Boldness often involves risks, but not taking risks results in stagnation.
A key mistake I see leaders making is to try to oversimplify and treat a related group of issues exactly the same, without evaluating the individual circumstances of each. Often this is the result of treating symptoms rather than causes.
I would say that arrogance, and maybe insecurity or fear, is what motivates a lot of leaders. Many leaders are tied to ideologies, which is why I see them moving to emotional positions, beliefs, and assumptions rather than being open to new information.
The biggest mistake I see is people confusing managing with leading. Managing is safe, leading involves risk. Leaders can be great managers, but managers will not always make great leaders.