7 ways leaders handicap themselves

Posted: January 30, 2007 in Uncategorized

I consider myself a leader but when you read something like this it makes you think about some of your skills.  I do not know about you but this really challenges me to become and work harder to be a GREAT leader.  I find this stuff really interesting. WHY?  Mostly because I like to learn about this so I can be a better person.  Reading this will hopefully challenge you too.

1 Leaders tend to operate from intuition and experience. While both can serve a leader well, neither is infallible: intuition cannot compensate for the blind spots every person has, and experience is a tutor with a limited perspective.
2 Leaders tend to become leaders because they are technically competent. Being good at something singles them out for promotion. But what makes people effective at one level can make them ineffective at another.
3 Leaders tend to operate with the skills that were most useful two levels below their current level. In part because of the way they were chosen for the leadership track, they tend to maintain the mind-set of the level where they last felt real mastery.
4 Few leaders are taught to lead.Because most leaders learn intuitively from experience, that experience is seldom analyzed with any depth, consistency, or systematic feedback. A few leaders have the good fortune of being taught informally by a particularly effective boss or mentor, but such teachers are rare. Even fewer leaders are taught formally; academic institutions focus on the organization of work more than on the application of leadership. MBA programs don’t teach leadership, or, at best, they teach only a narrow portion of it. Many corporations offer in-house programs, but few combine strong teaching with the kind of in-depth coaching that guarantees its application.
5 Leaders tend to stop learning in midlife. By the time people hit their forties, many rely on their previous knowledge and have only a shallow commitment to ongoing self-education and self development.
6 Few leaders lead from a clear sense of purpose. Even fewer lead from a clear sense of noble purpose.
7 Few leaders know how to pass on what they know. Not having been taught, they have little idea how to help others develop their leadership skills.



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