Tuesday, October 7, 2008

10 Ways to Fail as a Leader

I received the following in an email and thought it was fun but challenging. It can be applied whether you hold a leadership position or not:

Top 10 Ways to FAIL as a Leader

Steve Macchia and Rick Anderson

Perhaps you've even personally served under a notoriously bad team leader and secretly wondered whether or not you'd have what it takes to sabotage a team of your own. Just follow these simple guidelines:

10) CONSERVE AFFIRMATION. You don't want your team members to become arrogant. Use affirming remarks sparingly.

9) HAVE A CLOSED-DOOR POLICY. Openness to feedback is a slippery slope. One day you're listening, the next day you're on the verge of a teachable spirit.

8) MAKE SURE NOBODY APPEARS SMARTER THAN YOU ARE. Nobody has more knowledge or experience than you do. That's why you're in charge, right?

7) FOSTER AN ATMOSPHERE OF PARANOIA. Nothing puts a better positive filter on incoming information than a renowned fear of your response to bad news.

6) MAKE SURE ALL IDEAS ORIGINATE WITH YOU. Good ideas come from the top, not the team. Shared credit is for couples with debt problems.

5) EXERCISE HIGH CONTROL. Remember, you're the team leader, and it's your way or the highway.

4) LOOK OUT FOR #1. When in doubt, ask yourself, What's best for me and my interests? Don't underestimate the value of manipulation.

3) DON'T TRUST ANYONE. If you refuse to trust them from the start, you don't give them the opportunity to disappoint you.

2) ASK SOMEONE TO DO A SPECIFIC JOB, AND THEN DO IT YOURSELF. Micromanagement is one of the surest ways to fail as a team leader. If you want it done right, you've got to do it yourself.

1) FILL YOUR TEAM WITH PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU. Could there be a more ideal team than one made up of multiple versions of you?

Excerpted from an article in Church Volunteer Central's Idea Depot, where members can read the entire text of this article as well as hundreds of others.

Copyright © 2008 Group Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.


  1. Great list. I'm sending a copy to our youth pastor. Thanks for sharing!

  2. @ wani...

    are you sending a copy to your youth pastor because you feel he needs it to improve upon his leadership? or are you just being funny...

    just wondering. maybe he could just use some encouragement. most youth pastors are young and inexperienced (and underpaid) and no one has taken the time to take them under their wing. sure wish we had someone do this for us when we were just starting out.

    either way, great list...i'm going to add it to my own blog. it's a good reminder for everyone.

  3. thanks for commenting on my post "seasons of change and loneliness!" and yes!! i am still working through this whole process. it can be a very difficult road to walk, but God has been giving me daily doses of His peace along the way. the whole purpose of my blog is to encourage other people who may be walking through similar things...it's hard to find encouragement out there!! i have looked because i have soooo needed it over the past several months!

    anyway, thanks for stopping by! i enjoy reading your blog! :)

  4. p.s.--i just realized it didn't link back to my blog...here it is: www.thelatenightbaker.blogspot.com


I want to hear your thoughts!...