Why Am I Failing As A Leader?
The job is never easy and you are juggling with a wide range of issues and pressures that you cannot always control: so no surprises that sometimes frustration sets in and failure comes along.
The trick is to think about the reasons for that failure and to learn from the process but the opportunity to do this often passes you by as more important and pressing matters come along that need dealing with.
Looking at failures in Leadership, the following factors emerge which are a good template by which to assess your performance when things could have gone better and from which you can reflect upon your choices of action.
- Performance Problems: a failure to meet performance objectives due to too much time spent on playing politics and self-promotion coupled with a lack of attention to priorities.
- Problems with Relationships: being insensitive, manipulative, and untrustworthy in relationship terms with peers, subordinates and customers, stakeholders and assorted others.
- Difficulty in being able to change: not learning from feedback and mistakes to change old patterns of behaviour. Too defensive to criticism, unable to handle increased pressure and unable to adopt management style to deal with new situations and stresses.
- Difficulty in Building and Leading a Team: ineffective leadership of direct reports, and an inability to get work done through the efforts of others. This can also include both recruiting and promoting the wrong people for the wring reasons.
- Limited management experience: being unable to work collaboratively outside your normal remit or function. This leads to a failure to see the bigger picture and the larger risks being managed.
The above list is NOT a stick to beat you with but it does highlight common reasons, across all types of organisations in all sectors and contexts, why Leaders fail in their duties and what the common causes of these errors are.
Failure in a task is not the time to be downhearted – it is the time to reflect carefully and critically at what went on, why things did not turn out as you wanted them to do, but most importantly, how you can learn from the whole experience so that you are better equipped for the future.
Not even the most successful leader is immune from making big mistakes and errors of judgement – what is important is how they then bounce back from failure and become stronger for the experience.
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