Being the leader can allow more room for making mistakes. But, too many mistakes, that are too big, made too often can prove to be disastrous to the individual leader or the organization or both.
In his book “Seven Disciplines of a Leader” Jeff Wolf noted that it is not a good strategy to try to protect oneself from making mistakes or being wrong. People are imperfect, even leaders. Wolf cites the leadership flaws that have been identified by consultant Loretta Malandro. They are:
- Engaging in either/or thinking;
- Ignoring evidence that challenges or disproves beliefs;
- Confusing perceptions and assumptions with truth;
- Listening automatically (distorting what is heard to fit an agenda);
- Playing the victim and refusing to accept responsibility or accountability;
- Being insensitive to the needs of those around the leader;
- Diminishing others’ viewpoints or opinions;
- Placing blame on others when convenient;
- Treating commitments casually;
- Sabotaging others in order to look good; and,
- Refusing to budge from a position that has no evidence to back it up.
Wolf added that detecting leadership flaws could be aided by looking to see if any of the following occur:
- Beating a dead horse in discussions, insisting “I know the only truth,” one that seems to elude others;
- Insisting on always having the last word;
- Rejecting opinions, facts and research that prove a favorite position wrong;
- Dominating conversations ad bullying people into accepting a pet position;
- Sacrificing others to escape the consequences of being wrong; and,
- Being terrified of being wrong.