5 Common Ways Leaders Undermine Themselves

Poor leaders undermine themselves far more frequently than others undermine them.

The biggest way leaders undermine themselves is by not living the vision and values they champion. A leader’s lack of commitment to the values that hang on a wall empty those values of any real culture-shaping authority.

 

The dictionary first defines undermine as “eroding the base or foundation” and second as “damaging or weakening someone or something.” A river can undermine its banks and cause them to erode over time, and someone can undermine a leader and erode the leader’s credibility over time. Poor leaders undermine themselves far more frequently than others undermine them. Yet poor leaders are much more sensitive to others undermining them than they are to undermining themselves.

To avoid the self-inflicted wound of undermining yourself, here are five common traps to avoid:

1. Changing directions continually

Leaders who continually change directions reveal none of the directions were conviction-based. I am not referring to testing and trying things but to macro direction that impacts the whole. Leaders who constantly change directions undermine themselves and exhaust everyone else.

2. Not learning

Leaders who fail to learn grow stale in their leadership. Leaders who don’t learn will not lead teams of people who value development.

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