Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make

The Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make is a good read.  It's been around for a while but I recommend it as a tool to keep you sharp and to help you grow as a leader.  Below is a summary I put together from this book by Hans Finzel.    - Enjoy, Mike Gingerich

The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hans Finzel

A Brief Summary

by Mike Gingerich

“Top-flight leaders aren't born.
They learn by bad example.”

1. The top-down Attitude

  • The top-down attitude comes all too naturally to many people
  • Servant leadership is much more rare.
  • Effective leaders see themselves at the bottom of an inverted pyramid.

2. Putting Paperwork before Peoplework

  • The greater the leadership role, the less time there seems to be for people.
  • The greater the leadership role, the more important peoplework is.
  • People are opportunities, not interruptions.
  • Only through association is there transformation.

3. The Absence of Affirmation

  • Everyone thrives on affirmation and praise.
  • Leadership has as much to do with the “soft sciences” as with getting things done.
  • We wildly underestimate the power of the tiniest personal touch of kindness.
  • Learn to read the varying levels of affirmation your people need.

4. No Room for Mavericks?

  • Mavericks can save us from the slide toward bureaucracy.
  • Large organizations usually kill off mavericks before they can take root.
  • Mavericks make messes by their very nature – the good messes institutions need.
  • Learn to recognize truly useful mavericks.

5. Dictatorship in Decision-making

  • Dictators deny the value of individuals.
  • The major players in an organization are like its stockholders. They should have a say in its direction.
  • The one who does the job should decide how it is done.
  • “Flat” organizations are the model of the future. Less hierarchy, more trust & empowerment.

6. Dirty Delegation

  • Overmanaging is one of the great cardinal sins of poor leadership.
  • Nothing frustrates those who work for you more than sloppy delegation with too many strings attached.
  • Delegation should match each worker’s follow-through ability.

7. Communication Chaos

  • Never assume that anyone knows anything.
  • The bigger the group, the more attention must be given to communication.
  • When left in the dark, people tend to dream up wild rumors.
  • Communication must be the passionate obsession of effective leadership.

8. Missing the Clues of Corporate Culture

  • Corporate culture is “the way we do things around here.”
  • Never underestimate the mighty power of your organization’s culture.
  • Cultivating and changing he culture should be one of the leadership’s top priorities
  • Learn to respect values different from your own.

9. Success without Successors

  • Pride tightens the grip on leadership; humility relaxes and lets go.
  • Finishing well is an important measure of success in leadership.
  • Letting go of leadership is like sending your children away to college; It hurts, but has to be done.
  • Mentoring is a nonnegotiable function of successful leadership.

10.Failure to Focus on the Future

  • The future is rushing at us at breakneck speed.
  • A leader’s concentration must not be on the past nor on the present.
  • Vision is an effective leader’s chief preoccupation.
  • Organizations are reinvented with new generations of dreamers.

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