Contrary to much of the contemporary leadership literature, most leadership failures are not missing the objective, falling short of the goal, making a bad decision, or choosing a poor strategy. These are all business failures—and they do matter. But since leadership is about the heart, then leadership failures are, in fact, losing the heart or failing the people.
I don’t want to fail at all but if I must fail, I’d infinitely prefer to fail in business than to fail the heart.
Heart failures include…
- A moral fall
- Betraying trust
- Putting self before the team
- Dishonesty and spin
- Disrespecting and/or demeaning people
- Taking advantage of followers
- Showing favoritism and/or partiality
- Greed and avarice
- Blaming others
- Taking credit for the work of employees
Making failure about its negative impact on the business is missing the point of leadership. Making it about a loss of money is myopic. Again, I’m not saying these things don’t matter; they do matter. Nevertheless, I maintain that true leadership failure is all about the negative affect on people.