20 Practices of Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales

Our world is full of those who have underachieved and failed to reach their full potential.

Few things are as disappointing as watching a talented individual waste his or her talent. Our world is full of those who underachieved and did not reach their full potential.

This does not have to happen. There are a series of practices, things you can do as a leader, to avoid becoming a cautionary tale.

The following are 20 Practices of Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales:

1. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Have Little to No Character. Unsuccessful leaders focus more on their competencies than their character. Ultimately, their talent will take them to a place where their character cannot sustain them.

2. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Are Disloyal. Loyalty does not make you a leader. But disloyalty will disqualify you as a leader.

3. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Lack Focus. The most successful leaders are focused at all times. They approach mundane activities with the same level of intensity as they do major presentations. Unsuccessful leaders take the opposite approach.

4. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Have Low Standards. They do the minimum amount required and feel this is acceptable.

5. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Are Easily Forgotten. Those who underachieve are easily replaced. Next man up.

6. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Do Not Produce Quality Results. They miss expectations.

7. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Fail to Build a Great Team Around Them. Successful leaders are not “lone rangers.” It is true you can accomplish more with “we” than “me.”

8. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Make Things Worse. However, the most successful leaders are like duct tape. They hold things together. They make churches, teams and organizations look better than they really are. These type of leaders cover up for the mistakes of others.

9. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Have a Limited Skill Set. In complex environments, they cannot do all that is required of them.

10. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Are Passive. They constantly have to be prodded to address issues and find solutions. They lack passion and aggressiveness.

11. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Lack Intelligence. They have limited industry and product knowledge.

12. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Lack Creativity. They never surprise you with new ideas that advance the mission and vision of the organization. They keep doing the same old thing.

13. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Are Egotistical. They are braggadocios, want to be seen and often take credit for the work of others.

14. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Are Poorly Prepared. They are constantly caught off guard and forced to repair problems and relationships.

15. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Make Costly Mistakes. Their ego and lack of institutional knowledge costs the organization considerable time, reputation, money and resources. They hurt the organization.

16. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Do Not Work Hard. Laziness and cutting corners cannot occupy the same space as excellence. Unsuccessful leaders are unwilling to sacrifice and put in the work necessary for great results.

17. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Lack Self-Awareness. They neglect the hard work of ruthless self-evaluation. Therefore, they forfeit future success.

18. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Have Poor Communication Skills. This brings confusion, a lack of clarity and tears down those on their teams.

19. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Panic. Trials, tribulations, opposition and obstacles are constant unwelcome companions to anyone in leadership. The most successful leaders know with the help of their team, they will figure it out. This brings the team a sense of security.

20. Unsuccessful Leaders Who Become Cautionary Tales Lack Vision. They lack a clear path of success for themselves or their organization.

Do any of these practices describe you and your leadership? If so, what is one thing you can work on today?

Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.