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Leadership is an art rather than an exact science. There is no such thing as three easy steps to successful leadership. Leaders work at leadership and pray for wisdom beyond their years, realizing they are responsible for the over-site of people’s lives.

During my leadership tenure, I have made my share of mistakes. Some were correctable, while others were weighted down with irrevocable consequences.

Good leaders set high expectations for people and production, but they use common sense. Setting unrealistic goals in leadership can demoralize people and destroy trust. Keeping the well-being of people in the equation is imperative in leadership.

Let me address Five Unacceptable Leadership Failures and how to overcome them to properly motivate people.

  1. Making people feel insecure – Self-centered leaders create an environment of insecurity. Shifting the focus from the leader to the people helps overcome this failure.
  2. Putting the people’s best interest last – There are two basic philosophies of leadership. One is to build a ministry or business through people. The correct approach to leadership is to build people and allow them to build the ministry or business.
  3. Using rather than utilizing – As leaders, we must ask ourselves if we are delegating to get rid of work or to help people grow. The answer to that question reveals if we are using people or utilizing them.
  4. Motivating through guilt – Motivating through guilt is a sign of a weak, uninformed leader. Confident, informed leaders do not use guilt as a motivational weapon. Overcoming this leadership failure requires humility and personal growth.
  5. Lacking clear, consistent communication – Perhaps one of the greatest failures of leadership is clear, consistent communication. To overcome this failure, you must be purposeful.

As leaders, we all want to operate at optimal performance. However, the truth is, we all fail somewhere along our leadership path. Don’t allow these five failures on the path ahead of you; decide to overcome them now.

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