Top 10 Reasons Why Leaders Fail

Top 10 Reasons Why Leaders Fail


Not everyone is meant to be a leader, but for those of you who are already leaders or aspiring to be leaders, there are a lot of lessons you can learn. Today, I’ve written ten reasons why leaders fail. It’s a collection of issues that leaders tend to have, especially in their first few years in those roles. It’s easy to get caught up in the act of leadership because you gain power, confidence and control, all of which can be your undoing. Here are 10 things that will get in the way of your success and hurt your team:

1. Leaders become selfish.

Leaders who have responsibilities seem to forget that they are there to support their team instead of themselves. They become power hungry and seek control instead of giving advice, mentoring and ensuring that the team benefits from their leadership.2. They stop navigating the team.

When a leader is satisfied with the current state of the company and group, they stop directing people forward. Leaders need to have clear visions and goals to make sure that everyone is constantly delivering high quality results and that the overall company is benefiting. Leaders have to set expectations, keep track of everyone’s progress and hold themselves accountable.

3. Leaders become greedy.

Good leaders are those who can delegate tasks and make sure that everyone on their team is learning, growing and is being challenged.  When leaders start to do the work that they should be passing down to their employees, they end up hurting themselves. They become stressed out because they are overloaded with work and their employees get bored and want to leave.

4. They get arrogant.

Even the best leaders think they know everything and it becomes their downfall. Leaders need to be continuous learners  if they want to keep up with the challenging demands of today’s economy. Your employees and the people you meet outside of the office can really help you make better decisions and you should listen to them. If you ignore what other people say, it’s going to make your job harder because people may oppose it and you might be left stranded.

5. They focus too much on politics.

Leaders have to play politics all the time at the office. They have to do the right thing, at the right time and make the right allies without angering too many people. This tends to get in the way of productivity and makes them lose focus. Leaders should instead focus on doing excellent work and managing their team.

6. They don’t give enough criticism.

It’s very easy for leaders to try and please everyone and to befriend co-workers but that’s not always effective. You have to take a step back and look at the weaknesses of your team and talk to them about what they can improve. If all you do is compliment everyone, then you are doing them a disservice. At the same time, you should accept criticism from them. Some of your leadership tactics might not be best for the group and you need to know that.

7. Leaders refuse to adapt.

You will always have to change how you lead based on how your work and company are changing. If your company is headed in a new direction, or if you have new team members, you’re going to want to adapt your leadership style to that new environment. If you fail to do that, then it’s going to be hard to align your group to what the company is doing.

8. They don’t understand self-leadership.

You have to know yourself, control yourself and communicate your core values, expectations and beliefs. You need to understand your strengths, weaknesses and goals in order to be able to give your best self to your team and to have fulfillment.

9. They are too reactive.

Leaders need to be proactive, not just reactive. If you find yourself spending all of your time trying to put out fires, then you aren’t using your time effectively. Proactive leaders have an influence on the future and form the right alliances to advance their causes. Of course you should make sure your group is getting all the answers and resources they need, but don’t ignore the future.

10. Leaders don’t communicate well.

If you want to lead a team, you’re going to have to constantly communicate with them and make sure they are all in the know. You can use Skype, instant messaging, email and team meetings in order to get your message to them, but the important part is that it gets there. If you don’t communicate effectively, people won’t know what to do next or where the group is heading.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: