The 3 Secret Blunders Leaders Make

Sep 21, 2022 2 Min Read
Mistakes leaders make

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Mistakes Leaders Make

The most damaging blunders leaders make are the ones they ignore.

A blunder you DON’T notice leads to a dead-end.

The 3 secret blunders leaders make:

#1. Leaving your best self at home:

The draining blunders leaders make include pretending you’re someone you aren’t.

The bigger the gap between your home-self and your work-self, the more drudgery you experience.

How to bring your best self to work:

Describe yourself at home. What are you like when you’re doing life with friends and family? What are you like when you’re having fun?

Describe yourself at work. What are you like when you’re working to get something done or solving problems? What are you like when you interact with team members?

How can you bring more of your home-self to work?

“You know far less about yourself than you feel you know.” Daniel Kahneman

Discover: Be A Leader: It Pays To Have Fun At Work

#2. Getting lost in the weeds:

Lousy leaders keep their heads down. Successful leaders keep one eye on the horizon.

You’re lost in the weeds when:

  1. Every day is a grind.
  2. Energy is consistently drained.
  3. Frustration is your first response to everything.
  4. Purpose is a fantasy.
  5. Expectations are blurry.
  6. Progress is undefined.
  7. Direction shifts every hour.

5 ways to see the horizon:

  1. Define progress.
  2. Set a near-term goal.
  3. Describe your fears. Ask, “What’s the bravest thing I can do?”
  4. Ask yourself why you do what you do.
  5. Explore your aspirations with someone who doesn’t try to fix you.

#3. Thinking you know when you don’t:

You make up your mind quickly and feel like you know something. The act of deciding doesn’t increase your IQ.

You’re just as dumb after a decision as you are before.

  1. Search the unknown. “What am I missing?”
  2. Create alternatives. “What else might we try?”
  3. Seek suggestions. “What do you suggest?”
  4. Test assumption. “What do we assume is true?”

This was first published in


This article is also available in Chinese.

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Dan Rockwell is a coach and speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is an author of a world-renowned leadership blog, Leadership Freak.

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