In my experience, most businesses are run by highly intelligent driven people. Yet, when things fall apart it’s usually due to these highly intelligent leaders’ mistakes. Tragedies happen when smart leaders, who are otherwise great, distance themselves, day after day, with mistakes that they can’t see but are obvious to everyone else within the organisation.
So why does this happen? How can smart, experienced industry people with impressive track records make such blatant mistakes?
I don’t think you can put this down to purely one reason. Personally, I have worked for some great leaders and managers, with these people dialogue has always been open and ultimately I have felt valued within the business.
One thing I hear often from candidates of mine, is that the leader thinks they’re the smartest within their organisation; they make decisions without consulting others and refuse to answer questions if there has been a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Another is the common phrase of ‘yes men or/and women’, which always makes me chuckle as I have seen this first hand and completely understand where the candidate is coming from when they say this.
However, the most common failing is that the leader perceives themselves as being untouchable, both personally and the organisation they represent. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of what you do or what you have created, but competition is fierce in any industry and to become complacent at what you do is frankly ludicrous.
As a leader, I think it is wise to continuously evaluate and question what you do and how you could improve. Most importantly listen to two crucial things, your staff and your customers as they should always be transparent and you never know, you may even learn a thing or two!!
One of the big mistakes I made in the early years, and one of the biggest mistakes a lot of entrepreneurs make, is looking at your product or service offering only in the realm of competing with other similar product offerings. I was looking at adult diapers and comparing it to all other sources of adult diapers. The customers were comparing it to other uses of money.