3 Ways to Prevent Leadership Failure
- 7% of Americans trust members of Congress to have high ethical standards.
- 24% of Americans give Congress a positive approval rating.
- 38% approve of President compared to a 61% presidential average.
- 59% of Americans think Congress sells votes for cash. According to one survey, the profession of ‘Congressperson’ is considered to be one of the top ten sleaziest ways to make a living, just a few notches below a drug dealer. I saw this T-shirt that sadly describes them: “97% of politicians give the other 3% a bad name”.
Businesses also have their leadership challenges with nearly 9 out 10 employees disengaged:
- 50-67% of managers fail, according to leadership derailment studies, mostly due to “poor people skills”.
- 67% of worldwide employees don’t believe CEO’s are credible or very credible. This is down 12 points since 2016 and the lowest level since Edelmann’s Trust survey began in 2001.
- 70% of people don’t believe business executives add very much value to society, according to Pew Research.
- 82% of managers, according to Gallup, are not the right hire to do the job and lack the talent.
- The #1 reason quit a job is that they hate their boss.
The Words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King’s quote defines three characteristics that help prevent leadership failures.
When leaders lack the greatness of a clear cause they ultimately let their egos and selfish desires get in the way of helping others or in making a positive difference in the world. Simon Sinek talks about the important of why this allows great leaders to inspire others to action.
When leaders don’t really care about others that much they treat them differently, often very poorly. Their goals are personal recognition, power, or money. This leads to a lack of trust which affects employee performance in all areas. These leaders don’t know that leadership is not about the paycheck but about people. They are less successful and often are faced with conflict, opposition, and subversion.
Leaders without integrity invariably fail or fizzle out. We regularly see corporate executives in the media that fall from grace or politicians that got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. People are so jaded and tired of leaders that lack the courage or dedication to stand for something of value other than themselves. Those who lead with ethics rally others to a higher standard of conduct and relationships.
I believe that the next great revolution in business, if not government, is about people. Dr. King also said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” Leadership, then, is not about job titles, profit or stock prices. To prevent leadership failure, it has to be about positively influencing and uplifting other people’s lives. When you do that well, a business will succeed dramatically and a country will thrive.
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