To be a good leader there are certain things you need to do. To become a bad leader there are certain dangerous things you simply ignore and just don’t do. Here are three from Dan Rockwell.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Dangerous things leaders don’t do!

Sincere leaders fall flat because of things they don’t do.


Fear of failure prevents leaders from acknowledging failure.

Tenacity keeps leaders doing things that aren’t working. You rose to leadership because you finished things.

Don’t put your head down and work harder when it isn’t working.

  1. Open up and seek feedback.
  2. Define success before you start.
  3. Avoid words like more and better.
  4. Set goals that are easily seen and tracked.
  5. Determine what you’ll do if you fall short, before falling short.

An acknowledgement that it isn’t working isn’t the same as quitting.


It’s easy to resent those who seem to care and work less than you. You’re the hardest working, most dedicated person on the team. Why don’t they bleed for the cause like you?

Serving requires the seeking of another’s highest good. You can’t feel resentment and seek another’s highest good at the same time.

Resentment destroys relationships and justifies neglect.


I see leaders nod their heads at the power of positive environments. But, heads stop nodding when I ask them for examples of what they’re actually doing to build positive experiences.

  1. Establish high expectations. Low expectation disrespects talent. People never rise up when the bar is low.
  2. Treat people like human beings, not machines.
  3. Have more positive than negative exchanges.
  4. Honor the goals they’re shooting for as much as the goals they’ve achieved. “Tell me what you’re working on. How’s that going?”

Make positive experiences a daily practice. Dinner out is nice, but connecting at work is better.

What dangerous things do leaders leave undone?

How might leaders create positive experiences, forgive, or acknowledge when things aren’t working?