Leadership traps can ensnare the unwary

The Life: Leaders fail because they fall into specific traps, according to McGill Consulting Group, a global management company. Nader Sabry, the firm's managing partner for the Middle East and North Africa office, explains what they are.
Nader Sabry, the managing partner at McGill Consulting Group, warns of five traps that leaders can fall into. Pawan Singh / The National
Nader Sabry, the managing partner at McGill Consulting Group, warns of five traps that leaders can fall into. Pawan Singh / The National

Leaders, beware of believing your own hype, warns Nader Sabry, the managing partner for the Middle East and North Africa at McGill Consulting Group. Here, he talks about five traps leaders can fall into.

Invulnerability

This is a major factor where leaders fail. In order to instil trust in people and for people to want to work for you or with you, you have to be open with them. Being able to show people who work for you your weaknesses is in itself a strength. Vulnerability is a way of actually instilling trust and gaining loyalty when leading people.

Harmony

When it comes to being able to be decisive, and this happens to all of us, including myself, if you are always trying to pursue the right decision because you fear the uncertainties or the unknowns, you become stale in the way you make decisions. Decisiveness actually draws people. You are seen as someone who is committed and confident and people aspire to that. Constructive conflict allows for diversity of thought to take place.

Certainty

People are always seeking certainty. This is when you start to believe your decision should be right or wrong, when in reality you don't know what's coming. At some point, you have to make a decision. A new leader comes in and starts saying the leader before me did this and that wrong. We always say at the time the decision was made the context it was made in was probably right.

Popularity

People put their popularity over results. They would rather keep harmony and be in good standing with the people they work with and around rather than actually get results. You cannot be notorious with your people. That doesn't work. It requires a balance. However, if it [comes] to popularity versus results, you always have to let results overtake popularity. You will be respected if you achieve the results.

VIP Status

That is where your status as a leader becomes more important than anything else you do. If your status overtakes your thinking, you have basically nullified everything else you have been able to achieve. If you act like you are ruling from a throne and no one can do anything to you, it nullifies everything you have achieved. You see the world from an ivory tower and you become removed from making practical, grounded decisions. You tend to forget that the people around you are the ones who got you where you are. That's the nastiest one of them all.

gduncan@thenational.ae

Published: September 13, 2012 04:00 AM

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