In a previous blog I paraphrased an article from Forbes.com by contributor Glenn Llopis. Here is a summary of another article he wrote about leadership titled “8 Traps Successful Leaders Must Avoid”.
The point he is emphasizing in this article is that as businesses are successful the CEO can take his/her eye off the ball. They can become complacent which may cause their company to lose its momentum and lead to a number of negative consequences such as lost revenue, poorer profits and even the loss of key employees who see no upside. The eight areas he says to avoid are:
1) Overlooking or Ignoring Potential Problems
As a leader you are used to facing problems every day. Be aware of potential problems. Anticipate them if you can. Face them head-on, don’t ignore them. And lead your people through them so they know you are in it with them and showing confidence that everything will be okay.
2) Managing Tactics Vs. Leading Growth and Improvement
As we get older we tend to become less risk adverse as we try to protect what is probably our biggest asset, the equity in our company. We may fall into the trap of being more tactical and not strategic. This can be a de-motivator to your top executives who want to continue to grow the company.
3) Allowing Employees to Become Complacent
This ties in with the above. As you become complacent and less of a risk-taker your employees may follow your lead. This may result in a downward spiral and, perhaps, the loss of key people who will leave for more challenging opportunities.
4) Stop Selling Change
This quote from Jack Welch sums up this thought…”I am convinced that if the rate of change inside an organization is less than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight.” Change and creativity should be part of the culture of your organization.
5) Ineffective Use of Resources
Brainstorm with your team what resources are available to make your business better. Resources such as your employees, suppliers, schools, city or county governments, and local community organizations might be used in some new way to improve your business.
6) Mismanagement of Corporate Culture
Do you even have a corporate culture? How well do your employees live it? I encourage my CEO members to hire, promote and fire to their corporate culture. It should be something everyone in your organization lives and breathes every day. And don’t be afraid to re-evaluate it based on the needs and direction of the company.
7) Losing Passion for the Mission
Just as important as making your corporate culture visible so should you do so around the mission you have for your company. Your passion for the mission may falter because you are very successful and you don’t want to jeopardize that success. But losing passion for the mission may change your company into something you don’t want it to be because you lost your focus of why you started the business in the first place.
8) Ignoring the Management and Development of Talent
Every top position in your company should have a successor identified. People who seek responsibility always want more responsibility. Keep you eye open for employees in the rank and file who demonstrate the desire to take on more responsibility, let them know there is opportunity for advancement in your organization, provide mentoring to them, and promote them when possible.
As a leader you must continue to lead. It is not a part-time position.
Consider Reading This
Inspirational Leadership: Timeless Lessons for Leaders from Shakespeare’s Henry V by Richard Olivier. Using his experience as a stage director, Olivier shares Shakespeare’s Henry V’s secrets of inspirational leadership and reveals timeless lessons for managers and leaders.