The 5 Lethal Sins of Leadership

In my years of being a leader, I’ve been lucky enough to live out a life full of bumps… Sometimes I was drowned in the joy of success, and other times experienced horrible failures.

But, most of those failures had nothing much to do with the flow of work, commitment, technology, and the process – but with my foundational attributes which made me vulnerable as a leader. I have taper these down as five key sins in this blog to help you grow as a staunch Leader.

Sin # 1: Conceit

You must have known a manager who annoyingly claimed to ‘know it all’. Imagine having someone who refuses to listen to anyone at all, but this is what they are supposed to do… Isn’t it?

When people are looking up to you, you have to look confident, especially when it gets rocky. When allowed to flow unchecked confidence turns to contempt, blend respect with confidence and you will get a smoothie. Cancel out respect and you have nothing but a scumbag.

Being proud of your achievements is alright. “But it is not ok for the leaders to consider themselves as the supreme decision-makers. Pride, in general, is considered to be the most harmful leadership sin as it paves the way to other sins.

Sin #2: Indecisiveness

Imagine having a meeting on Monday and the agenda is to discuss a course of action, after deciding one on Monday the manager takes a completely different approach on Tuesday. Thursday, the manager drifts back to the Mondays approach and the following Monday you are back facing the same problem from Last Monday.

Decisiveness is that the manager pays attention to the ideas around him or her and keeping the situations and his own insights in play take the decision which is the best for the project in long term, the role is not just to make the decision but to make the team able to understand and believe that the decision being taken is rational and best for the company.

For the leader, this sin is not always about an unwillingness to act. Oftentimes, it is also an unwillingness to do work the leader considers beneath the dignity of the office.

Sin #3: Disorganisation

We’ve all must have come across a manager that keeps on asking same things over and over again, keeps the plan in their head versus writing things down, or looks so panicky that they’re on the edge of getting knocked down. The disorganization creates unnecessary worry and annoyance for the project team.

It is the job of a manager to forecast and have set goals and ways to reach those goals, storm start to completion. He also to has make himself and the team believe that they are moving continuously in the right direction every day. Frustration and annoyance are the products of disorganization, which lead to anarchy.

Sin #4: Stubbornness

Once I was set to work on a project I knew that I was a month behind on, according to the decided schedule. It was a 3-month project. I was continuously trying to make up for the lost time and refused to alter the schedule, thinking that I would manage by working more efficiently and productively.

Being the leader of the ship I was stubborn enough to ignore what the team thinks about the schedule. They told me and in fact, warned me that we were struggling. The project never reached its completeness under my management because I got myself removed from the position, a certain shock for me in early times of my career.

As a manager, you may believe that your perspective or view is the right way to go, but balancing your own view of reality along with the rest of the project team’s view, is paramount.

A manager may believe his or her view of reality is the right way to go, but it’s imperative that he or she balances their own perspective with that of the rest of the project team. Decisiveness without listening to the team leads to stubbornness.

Sin #5: Negativism

A long time ago, one of my fellow managers, in pursuit of “managing expectations” would repeatedly discuss the project in a negative light. Sometimes focusing on the work having not been done, the latest issue of the week, or just talk about who was not doing his job.

Their dark attitude about the work, weakened the purpose of the project and people gradually stopped feeling the energy, passion, and enthusiasm out of the work. The prophecy attained itself and the project failed, just because the project manager destined it to fail.

A pessimistic project manager ends up being a demotivation, rather than a motivation or a support.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should be a smiley, happy-go-lucky person all the time; but you must have to truly believe in what you and your team are doing and must do it with a positive attitude. And having a good attitude means leading by example and giving positive feedback to motivate the team to get there.

What other sins of leadership are out there that we need to avoid? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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