To think of the words failure and leadership in one thought is to think of the words strength and weaknesses. While they are on opposite sides of our desires, they often get a fair share of their place in making up a complete story.

The burden on leaders is often heavy and requires them to not only deliver on responsibilities but also ensure they are role models to the people they lead. Since leaders are expected to shape the belief, cultures, and ideas of others, transforming them into the best they can be, the last thing (maybe not even on the list of expectations from leaders) anyone will expect a leader to do is to fail. But do leaders fail?

The answer is yes, but not sadly so. It is the reality that comes with leadership.

Bradford Winters said — Leaders are made through discipline, training, experience, failure, and the desire to continually improve.

Sometimes, the failures of leaders are not a result of what they could not do or do well, rather they are a result of what they couldn’t get others to do or do well.

The truth is that when your people do not tell you what you need to know, it is a failure of leadership. — Jack McDevitt

There are varying reasons why leaders fail. This article will discuss four common reasons for leadership failures

Thinking you have all the answers

Knowledge is a fundamental building block of every successful leader. To think you have all the answers is to shut the door to knowledge. It is good practice to always try to be ahead in knowledge over those you lead, but this does not mean you will never learn a thing or two from them or others. Be open to knowing new things. Be deliberate about getting your team and others to bring their ideas to the table when there is a situation to resolve. The answer you need may just come from an unexpected source.

Leading people from different generations can be challenging. Click here to read our article on how to effectively lead in a workplace of mixed generations

Fear of making a mistake – Slow in making decisions

The demand for data-driven decisions has grown over the years. Leaders bank on looking at the numbers to ensure they are not just driven by sentiments and emotions when they make critical decisions. This is good practice but may not apply all the time. Leaders are often faced with decisions that require urgency than precision.

Leaders sometimes fail when they allow the fear of making a quick decision to push them into dwelling too long on the technicalities and complexities surrounding the situation they are dealing with, thereby resulting in a situation where a decision is coming too late.

Unclear vision and expectations

To not have clarity in vision and purpose is to drive a vehicle without a destination in mind. It is only a matter of time before you become frustrated and run out of fuel.

To successful lead, leaders do not only need to state their vision and expectations to those working with them but need to ensure that vision and expectations are communicated in a manner that is void of ambiguity.

Lack of Integrity

Leaders need people to succeed. This means that the success of a leader is tied to how well they are able to persuade people to follow them.

A leader who lacks integrity will lose people and eventually fail.

There you go. We hope you enjoyed reading.

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