No one is born with leadership skills but everyone can be the one and can learn to become a leader. During the life, there are a lot of places where to gain some leadership skills – in school, local community, your parents and when you start your own family. It doesn’t have to be only about business or work. Anyone who can set examples and inspire others to be the best version of themselves is a leader.
In one of my previous post 11 Important Factors of Leadership, I shared that before you become an excellent leader you have to be an excellent follower. In fact, most great leaders began in the capacity of followers.
I’m still inspired by Napoleon Hills book “Think and Grow Rich” and decided to share another gold from that book related to leadership. This time it is a kind of test where you can evaluate your level of leadership. To become the best leader it is important to follow, learn and adopt best qualities of other leaders and discover what to do, but it is also important to understand what not to do. So, in this article, I’m sharing 10 major causes of failure in leadership from “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
Published in 1937, “Think and Grow Rich” is one of the original texts on personal achievement and motivation, and it has sold more than 20 million copies. As part of his research for the book, Hill interviewed more than 500 people.
The 10 Major Causes Of Failure In Leadership
1. Inability to organize details
Efficient leadership calls for an ability to organize and to master details. No genuine leader is ever “too busy” to do anything which may be required of him in his capacity as the leader. When a man, whether he is a leader or follower, admits that he is “too busy” to change his plans, or to give attention to any emergency, he admits his inefficiency. The successful leader must be the master of all details connected with his position. That means, of course, that he must acquire the habit of relegating details to capable lieutenants.
2. Unwillingness to render humble service
Truly great leaders are willing, when occasion demands, to perform any sort of labor which they would ask another to perform. “The greatest among ye shall be the servant of all” is a truth that all able leaders observe and respect.
3. Expectation of pay for what they “Know” instead of what they do with that which they know.
The world does not pay men for that which they “know.” It pays them for what they do, or induce others to do.
4. Fear of competition from followers
The leader who fears that one of his followers may take his position is practically sure to realize that fear sooner or later. The able leader trains understudies to whom he may delegate, at will, any of the details of his position. Only in this way may a leader multiply himself and prepare himself to be at many places, and give attention to many things at one time. It is an eternal truth that men receive more pay for their ABILITY TO GET OTHERS TO PERFORM than they could possibly earn by their own efforts. An efficient leader may, through his knowledge of his job and the magnetism of his personality, greatly increase the efficiency of others, and induce them to render more service and better service than they could render without his aid.
5. Lack of imagination
Without imagination, the leader is incapable of meeting emergencies, and of creating plans by which to guide his followers efficiently.
The leader who claims all the honor for the work of his followers is sure to be met with resentment. The really great leader CLAIMS NONE OF THE HONORS. He is contented to see the honors, when there are any, go to his followers, because he knows that most men will work harder for commendation and recognition than they will for money alone.
Followers do not respect an intemperate leader. Moreover, intemperance in any of its various forms destroys the endurance and the vitality of all who indulge in it.
Perhaps this should have come at the head of the list. The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above him, and those below him, cannot long maintain his leadership. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth and brings down on one’s head the contempt he deserves. Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life.
9. Emphasis of the “Authority” of Leadership
The efficient leader leads by encouraging, and not by trying to instill fear in the hearts of his followers. The leader who tries to impress his followers with his “authority” comes within the category of leadership through FORCE. If a leader is a REAL LEADER, he will have no need to advertise that fact except by his conduct-his sympathy, understanding, fairness, and a demonstration that he knows his job.
10. Emphasis of title
The competent leader requires no “title” to give him the respect of his followers. The man who makes too much over his title generally has little else to emphasize. The doors to the office of the real leader are open to all who wish to enter, and his working quarters are free from formality or ostentation.
These are the more common of causes of failure in leadership. It is worth to go back and read that list again and when you go through this list try to evaluate yourself and what would be the next small action to improve. If you want to be a great leader set an action plan and work that plan. Study the list carefully again and again if you aspire to leadership.
When we are learned and understood what not to do it is important to go back to what is that we should do to be the best leader. For that purpose, we can go back and go through another list from the book “Think and Grow Rich” – 11 Important Factors of Leadership that can be found in my blog post here.
The world does not pay men for that which they “know.” It pays them for what they do, or induce others to do. – Napoleon Hill