When Leaders Fail

Contrary to much of the contemporary leadership literature, most leadership failures are not missing the objective, falling short of the goal, making a bad decision, or choosing a poor strategy. These are all business failures—and they do matter. But since leadership is about the heart, then leadership failures are, in fact, losing the heart or failing the people.

I don’t want to fail at all but if I must fail, I’d infinitely prefer to fail in business than to fail the heart.

Heart failures include…

  1. A moral fall
  2. Betraying trust
  3. Putting self before the team
  4. Dishonesty and spin
  5. Disrespecting and/or demeaning people
  6. Taking advantage of followers
  7. Showing favoritism and/or partiality
  8. Greed and avarice
  9. Blaming others
  10. Taking credit for the work of employees

Making failure about its negative impact on the business is missing the point of leadership. Making it about a loss of money is myopic. Again, I’m not saying these things don’t matter; they do matter. Nevertheless, I maintain that true leadership failure is all about the negative affect on people. 

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