Management guru Peter Drucker said, “Only three things happen naturally in organisations: friction, confusion and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.” Effective leadership is crucial in determining whether a company entity succeeds or fails. Therefore, to spearhead corporate operations and guarantee the delivery of outcomes, goal-oriented organisations generously spend on building seasoned leadership teams.
According to the Centre for Creative Leadership’s survey findings, more than 40% of newly hired top executives fail within the first 18 months of their employment. These executives have often demonstrated superior intelligence, commendable initiative, and substantial wit in previous jobs. However, many more executives are not as successful as predicted and fall short of the objectives they are hired or promoted to accomplish. This is primarily because leadership teams are composed of people who, like everyone else, have quirks that may limit their effectiveness.
4 Prevalent Pitfalls Leadership Teams Must Be wary of
What are some of the common root causes of leadership team failure?
1. Allowing Ego to get in the Way of Performance
When working together to accomplish goals and be successful, one of the things that can be a pitfall for leadership teams is to let egos and differences in personalities get in the way. Instead, they should discover methods to work around these issues without having them impede development or slow down the process. Leadership teams frequently fail when team members insist on doing things their way or refuse to make concessions rather than making concessions and cooperating to achieve a common objective. Leadership teams must collaborate, focus on the bigger picture, and value each other’s contributions. Due to a lack of effective teamwork and cooperation at the highest level of leadership, which frequently leads to employee bewilderment who then start to question organisational direction, leadership teams that fail to achieve this usually wind up causing more difficulties for themselves in the long run.
2. Too Much Emphasis on Hierarchy
Regardless of their position within an organisation, leadership team members should be able to take the initiative when needed. Your leadership team may not work well if one member feels like they are superior to everyone else or has nothing to learn from anybody else. Leadership teams frequently fall short because team members prioritise maintaining their position of authority over the success of the group as a unit and steering it in the proper direction.
To prevent bias toward certain team members, leadership teams should include a system of checks and balances, or “mutual responsibility,” where everyone is held responsible for their actions regardless of their position (leader, follower, etc.). Overly hierarchical leadership teams may come off as groups of petty people with egos standing in the way of development, which lowers morale throughout the company and eventually results in failure.
3. Leadership Erosion Over Time
Leadership teams must be vigilant and be able to spot when particular team members are underperforming. Leadership teams frequently fail because they tend to turn a blind eye when a team member is acting inappropriately or making more mistakes than they ought to. Employees may begin to question “what’s the use?” due to inadequate leadership, which results in a lack of direction, a loss of inspiration and drive, and a sense of indifference. The leadership team may deteriorate over time, which might result in failure, if it isn’t holding people responsible for their actions. Leadership teams that don’t effectively regulate themselves will have a lot more troubles in the long term than if they had handled concerns right away.
4. Underestimation of Leadership Development Initiatives
Leadership teams need to be adequately trained before being thrown into the fire, so to speak. Leadership team training should be focused on results and performance, not just a lot of talk about how things should work within the organisation. Leadership teams that don’t invest in fit-for-purpose leadership training are setting themselves up for failure from the beginning through a lack of understanding as to what needs to take place for them to start getting better results as a team. Leadership teams that skip leadership and teamwork training will begin feeling frustrated due to confusion as to why their organisation isn’t performing up to standard. Additionally, given that the current corporate environment is volatile, unpredictable, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), leadership training must be given top priority since members of leadership teams will always need to adapt to shifting dynamics. Therefore, it is best for leadership interventions to be ongoing and driven by business needs rather than being one-off, box-ticking events.
In conclusion, the avoidance of these leadership team pitfalls helps stay on track and keep the goal in sight. Leadership teams that emphasise leadership skill development opportunities typically achieve the most outstanding long-term results, which in turn benefits all parties involved. However, ignoring these possible dangers might result in failure to attain objectives. If you want your leadership team to accomplish extraordinary performance, development is not just one factor but instead is made up of numerous components that each require equal degrees of attention.
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