How To Avoid 8 Deadly Momentum Killers in Leadership

Sep 24, 2020 2 Min Read

Leadership is all about generating momentum.

And it’s also about making sure you are not inadvertently letting all that momentum slip away.

And yet, more often than you would think, this is exactly what leaders allow to happen. After all of their carefully-crafted efforts to build momentum for their organisation, a few ill-advised steps can see all that momentum disappear.

But avoiding momentum-loss is usually very preventable, especially when you avoid these 8 classic momentum-killers

1. Over-planning

Planning is necessary. Over-planning will suck the momentum out of your team.

2. Dragging-out decision making

When teams need a decision it’s deadly when no decision can be found. A delayed decision deflates morale.

3. Not communicating results

It’s tragic when the organisation actually hits a milestone, and nobody finds out about it. Sharing good news is low-hanging fruit for momentum building.

4. Celebrating trivial matters

If you measure things that don’t matter, pretty soon you’ll be celebrating things that don’t matter. Don’t be side-tracked by irrelevant wins.

5. Not having short-term wins

Grand-slams are exciting, but rare. If you’re waiting for the big home-run ball, you could be waiting for a long time. Recognise short-term wins, and celebrate them when they are achieved.

6. Constantly changing targets

If you’ve ever been on a team that couldn’t seem to stick with a goal, you know how frustrating this is. And you know what a momentum killer it is when the target keeps changing.

7. Re-living past glories

Momentum is built by looking forward. There is a time and place to honour the past, but if you keep retelling the stories of a by-gone era, your momentum will be stuck in its tracks.

8. Re-organising

One of the first signs of a stalled organisation can be obsessive reorganisation. If growth is causing you to shake things up, go for it. But don’t allow yourself to be caught in constant re-orgs.

John Maxwell describes momentum as 'a leader’s best friend'.

Because, as Maxwell points out, when you have momentum everything gets exaggerated, in a positive way.

So make sure your leadership efforts are indeed creating forward momentum.

And then ruthlessly guard against any momentum-killers that could let it all slip away.

This might interest you: How to Increase Your Leadership by Weighing What Matters


Reposted with permission on

This article is also available in Chinese.

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Tags: Executing Leadership

Scott Cochrane is the vice president-international of the Global Leadership Network. He is skilled in preaching, nonprofit management, organisational development, stewardship, and volunteer management. His passions include leadership, football and hockey!

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