Leaders are not perfect. They make mistakes. They make bad decisions. They blunder. Even experienced leaders are not immune from mis-steps and outright sin. Dan Rockwell share with us the 7 biggest blunders of the experienced leader.  

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell


#1. Forgetting who serves who. Leaders serve others so others can serve others. It’s easy to begin thinking the people around you are there to serve you.

Repeat to yourself, “I’m here to bring out the best in others.”

#2. Blaming rather than taking ownership. The first question real leaders ask when someone under-performs is, “What will I do to maximize their performance next time?”

#3. Thinking that self-perception is accurate. I’ve read that only about a third of us see ourselves the way others see us. You think you’re nice. Others think you’re a jerk. You see yourself as open to feedback and suggestions. Others see you as closed and rigid.

Hire a coach to perform a narrative 360 review. This process goes beyond filling out questionnaires. All participants are interviewed. To be effective, make this a forward-facing activity, not simply a backward-facing witch hunt.

#4. Hanging on to poor performers. Ask, “Would I hire this person knowing what I know now?” If the answer is no, reassign, re-train, redesign their job, or manage them out.

When performance is below the bar and there are no signs of improvement, help them find a better fit somewhere else.

#5. Getting stuff done while neglecting people development. Chances are you need to offer more feedback to your team members. Only the worst employees don’t want to know how they’re doing.

#6. Stretching others, but not pushing yourself. Exception is the end of excellence. You haven’t arrived. Continue to stretch others, just keep pushing yourself.

Push yourself more than you stretch others.

#7. Getting lost in the weeds. Daily pressures cause leaders to lose sight of the big picture. The end result is frustration and fatigue.

At the beginning of the day, ask yourself, “What are we really doing here?”

What’s on your list of top leadership blunders?

Which of these 7 blunders is #1 on your list?