Avoid These 9 Leadership Traps

We live in unprecedented times! Leaders experience pressures like never before. It is simply the nature of our time where socio-political, economic and technological elements collide, interact and impact each other like never before in history.

Let’s look at 9 traps leaders step into as a result:

  1. Not letting go fast enough. Many leaders are not letting go fast enough of what used to work – this includes systems, procedures, initiatives, how to engage people, in essence what was once good enough to ensure successful and expected movement, but is no longer.
  2. Not simplifying fast enough. In other words not applying essence thinking at the pace that the situation requires – and this must happen first before the right decision can be made.
  3. Not making the tough/brave decisions fast enough. You know someone is a liability, but you hang on to them. You know a certain initiative is not having the desired effect, but you don’t scrap it.  Talk to leaders that attempted to turn around a business, or simply dramatically improve the status quo, and one of their regrets is almost always – I didn’t take the difficult decisions fast enough.
  4. Substituting instinct, intuition for compliance. Adhering to process, procedures, protocol and rules to the point that you allow compliance to be king rather than successful movement. We have become a compliance driven society.
  5. Focusing on the good instead of the better. Some examples include: Focusing on the principle of consultative leadership and consensus, rather than what simply has to be done. Focusing on your own ambitions rather than the ambitions of those you lead. Focusing on “not offending” rather than doing what’s right for the given situation, the business and its people. Focusing on so many urgent and important matters yet never on living personal values, being happy.Leadership business-trap
  6. Being too cautious and not taking enough risks. Why would leaders stop taking risks? Perhaps they become too structured or prescriptive?
  7. Letting go of pure, simple logic. Again, choosing to allow compliance to be king. We are doing this because Head Office said we should. But Head Office sits in the USA and this instruction does not make logical sense for our business, so let us push back.
  8. Still not realising the need for unleashing people’s extraordinary potential. Not creating a culture of conversations; a culture where people counsel/converse together to arrive at extraordinary solutions needed in extraordinary times.
  9. Not catching the vision of partnering. Society is more integrated than ever before. No one can perform in isolation, because everything impacts on everything. The answer is to learn the art of partnering with stakeholders.

I would love to hear your comments? How about other traps leaders step into?

Are you or your team caught in one of these traps?  Email Adriaan on adriaan@leadershipplatform.com for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside your organisation.




Adriaan, as an accomplished author and leadership advisor, has been interviewing and working with top leaders for more than 15 years. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leadership Platform. (Twitter: @AdriaanG_LP)

Call: +27 (0)12 653 3022
Email: info@leadershipplatform.com

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Leadership Platform is a specialist leadership development consultancy, focusing on creating measurable impact to the bottom line through the enhancement of leadership understanding and engagement.


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