It helps to know as much about the causes of failure as the causes of success; for the simple reason that when you know why people fail, you know what to avoid. In this next part of the book, Napoleon Hill shows us how leaders typically fail.
The 10 Major Causes Of Failure In Leadership
We come now to the major faults of leaders who fail, because it is just as essential to know what not to do as it is to know what to do.
1. Inability to organize details. Efficient leadership calls for the ability to organize and to master details. No genuine leader is ever “too busy” to do anything required of him in his capacity as leader. When a person, whether a leader or follower, admits that he or she is “too busy” to change plans, or to give attention to any emergency, he or she admits inefficiency. The successful leader must be the master of all details connected with the position. That means, of course, that he or she must learn to delegate responsibility to those under him or her.
2. Unwillingness to render humble service. Truly great leaders are willing, when the occasion demands, to perform any sort of labor they would ask another to perform. “The greatest among ye shall be the servant of all” is a truth which all able leaders observe and respect.
3. Expectation of pay for what they “know” instead of what they do with what they know. The world does not pay people for what they “know.” It pays them for what they do, or induce others to do.
4. Fear of competition from followers. The leader who fears that one of his followers may take his or her position is practically sure to realize that fear sooner or later. The able leader trains understudies to whom may be delegated, at will, any of the details of the position. This is the only way a leader can successfully ‘multiply’ him- or herself and be in many places, giving attention to many things at one time. It is an eternal truth that people receive more pay for their ability to get others to perform than they could possibly earn by their own efforts. An efficient leader may, through knowledge of his or her job and the magnetism of his or her personality, greatly increase the efficiency of others, and induce them to work harder and better than they could without his or her leadership.
5. Lack of imagination. Without imagination, the leader is incapable of meeting emergencies, and of creating plans to guide followers efficiently.
An Abundance Of Failed Leaders
No doubt you can probably match at least one, and probably many more, examples of failures as leaders to each of these traits. The key for you is to learn from those failures, look where in your life you may have done these things, and make corrections now.
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