The Most Dangerous Mistakes Leaders Make

Similar to the Defining Leadership article I published, today’s article touches again on the subject of leadership. My mentor was such a great and natural leader and he was always helping and showing others how to be more affective as leaders. I remember learning these concepts from Phillip, back when I still called him Mr. Brunelle. He had just started to take me under his wing and he invited me to take a ride with him to lunch in a limo provided by his favorite limo company that he used what seemed like everyday. In the vehicle he explained to me anyone can lead, but many make dangerous mistakes while doing so. Over time I have studied the following aspects of broken leadership and not partaking in them has made a significant difference in my leadership roles.

1. Becoming a leader for the wrong reason.

Most people want to lead and change the world not because they have a cause but because they want to be known as the person who changed the world. This is a terrible reason to become a leader. These types of leaders lose interest and do not last. Leaders should want to sacrifice themselves for the good of others even if sometimes they do not get a return on their investment. Great leaders don’t do something because they know it will be great for them. They do it because it will benefit others. I often get sick of hearing about this term “servant leadership” because all leadership has to do with is serving! Otherwise it is just someone trying to gain ROI. If its not servant leadership then it is just economics.

2. Failing to embrace vulnerability.

It is difficult to be too vulnerable as a leader. People want to be on top and have all the power and once one has that, it is difficult to show weakness. Well get this… Followers do not want leaders to be perfect they want them to be human. Think about that. Great leaders are willing to admit they’re not good at something. They are willing to show signs of weakness and are even willing to admit failure. Ultimately they are willing to make themselves vulnerable in order to connect with another person on a personal level.

3. Making leadership too important. 

Many people put leadership on a pedestal. They want to lead so badly that they will almost do anything to do so. Well again, leading is not about the person leading, it is about others. The art of leadership doesn’t have to be some gigantic and glorious thing. Most of the time people think that leadership mainly takes place at work. People can lead anywhere! For example, a man should lead his wife and family to the best of his abilities. He doesn’t have to be a CEO or win some national award to be a great leader. If your identity as a leader is coming before being a follower of Jesus, being a parent, spouse, brother or son then that is when leadership is too important.

I love the subject of leadership and if you would like to become a better leader or simply just chat about it please shoot me an email! You can contact me here.