Not valuing or involving others. When leaders are so focused on themselves or are compulsive about their work, they don’t tend to see value in involving others:
The worst boss I ever had spent all of his time ripping everyone. I came to conclude that despite his being smart as a whip, this was a defense mechanism hiding his personal insecurity. He knew everything, but he wouldn’t allow his organization to grow through others. I had another boss who would get to work at 4:00 am and had a reputation for knowing every detail of his organization. He was like the Wizard of Oz, in that he created this impression that he was an ogre.
Way too many leaders rely solely on their own judgment rather than involving others in decision-making. And relying on a select few rather than inviting people with particular skills to become part of projects and solutions.
You need to give people room to blossom in their own way without them feeling like a puppet. I also recognize that in certain situations a leader has to say, “Do it because I said so.” But the leader must not do it from a righteous standpoint. All of this may not be very rational at times. Leaders have to make decisions and lead in various directions, but if they alienate the people they are trying to lead they aren’t going to be effective.
Lacking vision and focus on organizational goals. Knowing what True North is and understanding what it takes to get there is not always found in leaders, as three senior sages observe:
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A leader must have a vision and a plan that includes clear strategies and tactics. A leader must be open to what is happening with the plan, because things and circumstances may change. The environment changes, the government changes its budgets and reduces the organization’s funding. This is a real challenge and a real delicate balance in many cases.