Nobody’s perfect, leaders have flaws, but there are some flaws that are sudden death to good leadership.

With that said, a smart leader will look at himself critically and be able to determine where his flaws may lie.

As an executive coach…

my coaching philosophy does not focus on leadership weakness but rather their strengths. Building on a leader’s strengths is a far more efficient way of enhancing change than being fault focused.

Nonetheless, as a leader of an organisation, myself, I’ve learned (and still do) to be aware of certain weakness to guard myself against them.

Zenger and Folkman conducted two surveys, in one, they’ve collected 360-degree feedback data on more than 450 Fortune 500 executives and noticed the common characteristics of the 31 who were fired. In the second, they’ve analysed 360-degree feedback data from more than 11,000 leaders and identified the 10% who were considered least effective. When they compared the ineffective leaders with the fired leaders they’ve come up with the 10 most common leadership shortcomings, which commonly plague leaders everywhere in the world.

Every bad leader had at least one, and most had several.

While leadership is not seeking perfection but consistent and steady improvement in one’s character and competency is non-negotiable.

No matter how gifted an individual may be, or how prominent a position he may hold, we are still are human. Unfortunately, most leaders chose to ignore that we all need “working on,” and rather than choosing to ignore this reality, the best leaders are the ones who are able to acknowledge and address their shortcomings.


10 Fatal Leadership Flaws:

1) Lack energy and enthusiasm

They see new initiatives as a burden, rarely volunteer, and fear being overwhelmed.
One such leader was described as having the ability to “suck all the energy out of any room.”

2) Accept their mediocre performance

They overstate the difficulty of reaching targets so that they look good when they achieve them. They live by the mantra “Underpromise and overdeliver.”

3) Lack clear vision and direction

They believe their only job is to execute. Like a hiker who sticks close to the trail, they’re fine until they come to a fork.


4) Have poor judgment

They make decisions that colleagues and subordinates consider to be not in the organisation’s best interests.


5) Don’t collaborate

They avoid peers, act independently, and view other leaders as competitors. As a result, they are set adrift by the very people whose insights and support they need.


6) Don’t walk the talk

They set standards of behaviour or expectations of performance and then violate them. They’re perceived as lacking integrity.


7) Resist new ideas

They reject suggestions from subordinates and peers. Good ideas aren’t implemented, and the organisation gets stuck.

8) Don’t learn from mistakes

They may make no more mistakes than their peers, but they fail to use setbacks as opportunities for improvement, hiding their errors and brooding about them instead.

9) Lack interpersonal skills

They make sins of both commission (they’re abrasive and bullying) and omission (they’re aloof, unavailable, and reluctant to praise).

10) Fail to develop others

They focus on themselves to the exclusion of developing subordinates, causing individuals and teams to disengage.


These sound like obvious flaws that any leader would try to fix. But the ineffective leaders that were studied were mostly unaware that they exhibited these behaviours.

In fact, those who were rated most negatively rated themselves substantially more positively. They thought more highly of themselves as they ought to, resulting in their own professional demise.

As a leader, you should take a very hard look at yourselves and ask for candid feedback on your performance in these specific areas.

Your jobs may depend on it.

Inspired by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman and Harvard Business Review


Vision is our alarm clock in the morning and caffeine in the evening. Vision is the criterion against which all behaviour is measured and nothing touches the heart like it!

The authors of “The Flight of the Buffalo” (Warner Books, 1993) wrote, “Vision is the beginning point for leading the journey. Vision focuses. Vision inspires.” I find this to be so true.

Steven Covey has written, “All things are created twice,  first, there is the mental creation and then the physical creation.”  If we have seen it before we can shape it into reality. Vision is, therefore, the bridge between the present and future reality.

But, for any vision t materialise, you got to make it ‘sticky.’  That is the responsibility of a leader.


5 Steps For Ensuring that Vision is Caught:


#1. Keep The Vision Simply


A good vision must be short, concise and memorable.


Too many organisations make the mistake of trying to include everything in their vision statement. As a result, it ends up being too long, to be easily stated or remembered. A simple, concise vision can be very compelling, even if it needs some further explanation, and is much more likely to be effective than a longer, more complex one.



#2. Cast The Vision Convincingly 


Nothing is more pathetic than a passionless visionary.


Your ability to consistently cast the vision often comes down to the ability to concisely and clearly articulate the vision. Once the vision has been distilled down to a brief, concise, and memorable form, it must be communicated in a compelling way.

Below is a 3 step process to assist you:


  • Define the problem in a way that creates dissatisfaction with the present situation in the people you work with.


  • Offer a solution to the problem that invites their response and involvement.


  • Presenting a compelling reason why action needs to be taken, and taken immediately.


“If you haven’t defined the problem, determined a solution, and discovered a compelling reason why now is the time to act, you aren’t ready to go public with your vision.


#3. Consistently Communicate the Vision


If we want the vision to stick, we have to repeat it multiple times, in multiple ways, in many different venues and forums, and in many different forms.


Mentioning your vision once isn’t going to cut it. We need to find ways of subtly (and not so subtly!) reinforcing the vision in not only large groups but in small groups, at leaders meetings, in our one-to-one appointments. To make vision stick, it must be repeated often, and regularly. Unless the vision is branded upon your heart, this will it be possible.




#4. Celebrate Those Who Model the Vision


One of the best ways to reinforce the vision is to celebrate real life example of your vision being lived out in the real world “What is celebrated is repeated.


The behaviours that are celebrated are repeated. The decisions that are celebrated are repeated. The values that are celebrated are repeated. If you intentionally or unintentionally celebrate something that is in conflict with your vision, the vision won’t stick.

Too often, organisations highlight and celebrate things that conflict with the vision, or simply have nothing to do with advancing the vision. Find ways of recognising individuals who are living out the vision. Find ways to celebrate even minor steps of progress towards the vision.




#5. Embrace and Model the Vision Personally

Followers don’t buy into the vision, they buy into the leader/s.


“If the leaders won’t do it, who will?”  The idea was that we couldn’t ask people to do things that we weren’t first committed to doing ourselves. Your willingness to embody the vision of your organisation will have a direct impact on the organisation.


“It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that people understand and embrace the vision.”

– Andy Stanley


If you are not living out the vision yourself, you are going to have a hard time making it stick after all people do what people see.

How do you know when people have caught the vision?

The simplest test is this: Those who catch the vision are able to cast the vision.

Have you moved from a “customer” to “salesman of the vision?”


In 2012, I took my first trip to -beloved Israel. I visited the original temple built by David’s son, Solomon. Our group took an underground tour of the temple. Which allowed us to see the incredibly huge, square slabs that were used to lay the foundation of the temple.

“He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.”- Chronicles 3:15-17

Pillars are designed to provide the foundation to a structure. These impressive cylinders, towering from its concrete foundation,  provided the height and strength to connect the roof to the lower foundation.

What’s fascinating is the name of the two pillars that stood in front of the temple: Jakin, which means it establishes. And Boaz means in it is

Jakin, which means, “it establishes.” And Boaz means “in it is strength.”  Jakin was a priest.  Boaz was a business man also known as a “king” in the scriptures. He was extremely wealthy and was also Ruth’s kinsman redeemer whose lineage would be traced all the way to Christ. It is a picture of two people God would use to represent the entrance into God’s presence and the forming of the foundation of Church.

The Bible says we are both kings and priests, but we also have two separate distinct roles to play in his Body.
Kings and Priests are joining together to bring the Presence of God into the area that has been forbidden territory – the marketplace. It is only when this partnership cooperates in unity, mutual respect, and affirmation that we see God’s power released. Kings and Priest, this is God’s unbeatable combination. and through this model,  we can bring the Presence of God back into all spheres of the marketplace,  to transform cities and nations.