We are all born leaders in one way or another. If you are not leading people, at least you are responsible for the leadership of your life.
You will agree with me that a good leader takes risks and sometimes fails, the distinguishing factor is that an effective leader learns from his or her failures and moves forward.
It is not realistic to assume that all forms of leadership are a success.
In this article, I outline some of the reasons why I think leaders fail. There are many factors though but I feel that the ones outlined below are the major reasons.
Not Sharing and Understanding the Vision
A good leader will clearly share his vision or plan. This will allow his followers to understand him and see how they can fit in his vision or plan.
I have noticed that most of our leaders have no clear-cut vision to share.
I have noted with displeasure, especially amongst our African politicians. They have a tendency of not having a clear-cut vision for their people and hence end up failing when they are in leadership positions.
Actually, most of them are not in these positions to serve the people. They get into public office for their own benefit.
Sharing the vision of the company or any other venture is very important. For the young manager, it is very important that you understand the vision of the company before you get into leadership positions.
A leader who does not know or understand the company’s vision and goals will be leading a team without goals.
I want to liken this to a sports team. The manager of a football team knows that the vision and objective of the team are to produce positive results in this case beat every opponent in order to lift the first prize.
He will then prepare his team accordingly and impart the vision to his team members, in order to achieve the set goals.
If you are a CEO of a company and your company has no vision for the future. Please formulate one and pass it on to your team and see how they will take it.
Most likely they will quickly realign themselves to fit it. It is the responsibility of the leader to identify among his member the qualities he is looking for.
A good leader will help improve the skills of his team members by providing them with the necessary tools and an enabling environment.
Do Not Listen
Real leadership requires that you spend time listening to your team members. Listening skill that needs to be developed.
I have worked with a CEO who does most talking than listening and I can tell you he was not an inspiring leader.
We had a high labour turnover at work and even the ones he really thought would stay longer did not.
The reason was he was always talking and not listening and taking in criticism.
The only way you can know how you are progressing is to allow people to speak and you do the listening.
Giving a deaf ear to your team members’ suggestions and observations is a very good recipe for failure.
A good and progressive leader will encourage his team players to speak out and give them an opportunity to be heard.
By not listening and taking constructive criticism the leader will end up having to make wrong and catastrophic decisions.
I want to believe that if you cannot listen then you are not a leader you are a boss. Only bosses make final decisions without listening to other people’s inputs.
Leaders who are successful over the period have mastered the art of listening and allowing all the stakeholders to candidly express their opinions.
Do Not Widen the Circle of Involvement
My last observation for leaders’ failure is a lack of widening the circle of involvement.
As a company grows a strong leader will realise that there is a need for more players to get involved. Most of us think that when more people are involved it takes away our power.
This is not the case nowadays as most companies want to maximise profits and spend less on the much-needed team players.
There is something that most people in leadership positions forget and that is you are made successful by your team and not yourself.
Your team is capable of making you succeed or indeed fail. Having a widened circle of participants is good for company growth.
Great leaders continuously engage and involve more people in their vision. This will bring about change and support will grow both naturally and organically. With support from most of your team members, the sky is the limit.