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10 Critical Leadership Derailers

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

10 mistakes every leader should try to avoid at all costs.

I don’t think any leader sets out with an intention to fail, but it happens. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with and observed many leaders and I’ve noticed some “leadership derailers” that, if not addressed, could stunt a leader’s potential for greatness.

Below is a list of the 10 critical leadership derailers:

  1. The Ball Hog Leader: not a team player, selfish; places personal agenda before the good of the team.

  2. The Free Agent Leader: disengaged, appears bored or dissatisfied with work; does just enough to “get by.”

  3. The Helicopter Leader: Micromanager; overly controlling; does not empower others with the freedom and latitude to do their best work.

  4. The Landmine Leader: Loses his/her temper; loses patience quickly; irritable and lacks composure.

  5. The Hesitant Leader: Lacks confidence, overly concerned with making mistakes; indecisive; avoids risk.

  6. The Islander Leader: Aloof, distant, unapproachable, or isolated; viewed as indifferent to others; fails to build effective relationships.

  7. The Big-Headed Leader: Arrogant; egotistical; displays a strong sense of entitlement.

  8. The Closed-Door Leader: closed-minded; closed to new ideas; not open to critical feedback; unwilling to consider other viewpoints.

  9. The Politician Leader: Eager to please, overly concerned with being accepted and liked; defers to other people’s opinions.

  10. The Stuck Leader: Complacent, stagnant; avoids opportunities for personal growth or learning.

Leaders should always monitor their leadership traits through asking for feedback and leadership coaching. By being aware of the ten pitfalls listed in this blog and committing intentional self-awareness and coaching, you will be more likely to recognize bad habits and adjust your leadership style accordingly.

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