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Eight leadership fails that will drive you insane

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I want to introduce an amazing group of people who for the past 18 months have met every Tuesday (bar a few), mainly to stay sane. Yes – T O  S T A Y  S A N E.  In fact, that is what we have called ourselves – “The Saners.”

It started when we first went into lockdown.  As a business owner, the panic loomed and I thought, firstly, if I feel like this my friends and clients and colleagues must be feeling the same, and secondly, I really don’t want to go through this alone! I reached out and to a group of about twelve people and eight initially started. Seven have stayed. Tuesday mornings have become the space where we off load, connect, laugh, cry, share, dig deep on issues and all round, keep our sanity in check. Some weeks the results are better than others, but if nothing else we are a resilient bunch!

Meet the Saners 

Jed Kemery: No Show Days

Tarryn Roper: Rumour Studio

Ronnie Swanepoel: Concept Inc

Michelle Eatwell: Action Accounting

Pat Kekana: People Dynamics

Katleho Mohono: People Dynamics / The Catalyst Effect

Elaine Thompson: People Dynamics


This week we asked the question – What has been your biggest leadership fail?  The sharing was real, accurate and the display of authentic vulnerability was encouraging.  We all took a breath and just bared all in the areas we have failed as leaders in our life and business.


Leadership fails we can fully own

As a wife, mother, business owner I have certainly experienced my shared of leadership fails. Some more spectacularly than others.  When I asked the question to this amazing group of leaders, I was in good company. So from a group of leaders who have to lead themselves, lead their families, lead their teams and lead in their business this is how we have failed and what we have learned. (in no particular order)

  1. Lack of planning or too much planning – sometimes there is just planning and no doing or no planning because you have run out of time, been delayed, interrupted or procrastinated. Leaders procrastinate!
  2. Assuming everyone will do what they are supposed to do so you do not check or follow up until you need something and then it is not there or not finished or finished badly.
  3. Having expectations that are too high – not everyone thinks and works like you but too often we expect our teams and people to be like us. When it does not happen then we get disappointed. But not only disappointed, disheartened.
  4. Not knowing exactly what is going on – true story. We do not always know but we really should.  Leaders must stay connect with their team to know what is happening on the ground.
  5. Not showing up and not always leading by example. Big fail. Leaders will be held to a higher standard – and so they should! When you do not lead by example, why should people follow? When you do not show up, why should others?
  6. Not looking after yourself. You honestly can not give from an empty cup.  When everyone and everything comes before looking after yourself, you will run out of steam or start losing your mind, which will get your followers wondering why you are their leader.
  7. Not setting good boundaries – these matter, especially when it comes to looking after yourself. Good boundaries gives you time, creates focus, a sense of knowing what is going on and managing your time.
  8. Not holding ourselves accountable before we hold others accountable.


Leaders we have worked under and how they have failed

  1. Undermining the contribution or ideas of your people because you feel threatened by them, mainly because they are outperforming you.
  2. Not managing different opinions or possibly even allowing different points of view. One way to shut down collaboration in the blink of an eye.
  3. Making too many changes. Being a whirlwind leader makes your environment unstable and your team or family feel unsafe. Not good for productivity. Have consistency.
  4. Focusing on own growth path and not the whole. As a leader if it is all about you, the future looks bleak for your team.


What we reflected on and committed to, to get our leadership to the next level? 

In the wise words of Jed – “I had to really find myself; search for what was wrong – start saying “no” and calming things down. I had to identifying what is actually important in life and my business. When I took the time to do this, I suddenly had the ability to perform better, be better.”

If you need to start somewhere start with YOU. Find yourself – dig deep and ask the hard question.  What is not working? What needs to change?

The Saners shared these tips to help be better leaders:

  1. Learn how to lead each individual
  2. Delegate properly – play to the strengths of your team
  3. Manage your expectation
  4. Good leaders want to mentor people – communicated well, talk the talk, do the actions, follow through, be consistent.
  5. Enjoy what you do. Enjoyment = empowerment in staff / teams and is an invitation from them to allow you to track their performance.

Walk in your leadership role even without the title. Lead yourself first.  It is the only way out of your own decay and towards a better existence.


Your Goals In Reach Together 

Do you have a plan on how to become a better leader? If not, let People Dynamics work with you to create the plan and coach you to your next level of Leadership. Who knows, it could not only change your business but your life. Get in touch today. contact us 060.656.1305 |

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