4 Steps To Avoid Leadership Failure

There’s a story behind every business.

The key is not the who, what, or when — it is the why. Every business is run by everyday heroes facing unbelievable odds; unassuming characters uniting together around a common purpose to rise to greater levels of expectations. Every company ever been created started as an idea. People that inspired others to join and believe in the same cause, but over time companies have forgotten and lost that passion.  Now more than ever, businesses need to own that purpose in order to survive, transform, and win.

Companies lose their way overtime because they lose the attention and motivation they receive from their values and beliefs. As a leader, you can’t let that happen. In order for a culture to be successful, everyone must adhere to the same values and apply them at all times. This needs to be universal throughout the organization – from the CEO down to the mailman. Those same values should be written somewhere visible, making them a tangible reminder of where the company should always be. This is what will make your business stand the test of time.

The hard truth in business today is that right now, every industry is struggling to keep pace with rapidly changing environments. Overcoming great odds requires true commitment to the cause, to dig deep and discover the dedication to your core mission. Being alive isn’t enough, people and companies need things to live and fight for. It’s more than just making a living; it’s about making a life.

Great leaders practice what they preach, but not everyone has gotten the memo yet.

Here are 4 steps you can take in order to avoid leadership failures .

Revisit your why.

Why did you want to start your own business? What was the catalyst that propelled you into becoming an entrepreneur? It’s very easy to become jaded after idealism gives way to reality, but if you’re to become an effective leader, you must resist becoming jaded. Reality seems practical, but you need to keep a bit of idealism in order to remind you of your why.

Protect the values and ideas that excite and motivate you to push for more than yourself. This attitude is the lifeblood of your company and will give you the ability to overcome your greatest challenges. Products and services themselves don’t captivate or motivate anyone; it’s the purpose and meaning behind them that creates mass movements. If you’re not living the brand you promote, your customers won’t do it for you. Know how to tell your story in order to share your expertise, excitement, and charisma with the world.

Answer the call (to action).

At any given moment, people are one action and one decision away from creating a better future and changing their outcomes. Answer the call and overcome your dissatisfaction. Disrupt the status quo and move beyond the normal you have grown accustomed to. One thing that makes me see red is when people say, “because we’ve always done it that way.” That may be good for some, but not for me.

Don’t settle for mediocracy. Have the courage to stand for something bigger than yourself and mean it. No one is coming to change you and your business. You have to be the hero in your own story. But here’s the good part, you don’t have to do it alone! People like to follow others who fight the good fight. Those who sacrifice, who work long hours, those who value all parts of the business – clients, vendors, and employees. 

It’s time to interrupt your businesses and take the call to action. It’s time to look further than you have before and become the leader you were destined to be.

Decentralize leadership.

Leaders today face new levels of expectations. Good enough doesn’t cut it anymore. The old-school model involved a top-down approach to drive efficiency through management control and perfection forbidding anyone to make a move unless it was approved. A good leader loosens of the reigns and empowers the team to make decisions on behalf of the company.

In today’s digital economy, the mainstream workforce is responding to a new type of leadership model that breaks down the departmental silos of governance and disrupts the old way of doing things. Effective leaders in this economy are leading with an abundance-based, bottom-up approach that encourages free thinking and new ideas to keep pace with the influx of change. The model encourages a buy-in of the vision companywide and encouraging the leadership authority to the very front-line operations. In fact, a 2018 Mercer Global Talent Trends survey revealed that 93 percent of the companies polled has “near-future plans” to restructure and make their leadership “flatter.”

People don’t want to be managed, they want to know and believe the vision and maximize their contribution for a larger goal. It’s about building more leaders who commit to live the brand and spirit of the value the company delivers. It’s about knowing the cause and the individual impact to the core purpose. The cause is the culture and the driving force leading to new growth opportunities. Everyone is facing the same challenges, but the winners today know why they are competing. They are not just surviving; they are thriving.

Effective leadership direction is critical but, more importantly, we live in a state of constant change that requires EVERYONE to be a leader. EVERYONE holds great responsibility. EVERYONE needs to move and act as one. The pace of change for today’s business is ruthless and waits for no one. As a result, leaders face new level of expectations, dictated by the new mainstream workforce. This new type of leadership breaks down the departmental silos and urging leaders to employ more bottom up leadership, encouraging free thinking and new ideas meant to keep up with the influx of change.

Engage your employees.

Don’t get stuck trying to force transformation from behind a boardroom table. Guide and inspire your team by being the example to follow and build a company of leaders to transform your business into a hero business. The first step in transforming your business by knowing and sharing your purpose.

According to the State of the Global Workplace Gallup report, 85 percent of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. This contributed to approximately a $7 trillion loss in productivity. These numbers are truly frightening, but don’t let that scare you. Great leaders see opportunity where others don’t. And this is one huge opportunity to get your workforce engaged. Everyone should be thinking and making decisions like a committed shareholder would.

Your business should run like a well-oiled machine, not a series of silos that operate separately from the other. Cohesiveness is the name of the game and great leaders have everyone in the organization rowing in the same direction towards a common goal: moving the needle forward. A good leader is never in it for him or herself. They’re in it to serve others.

As a leader, who are you serving? What is your strategy?

Author bio

Jeffrey Hayzlett is the Chairman/CEO of the C-Suite Network and a best-selling author. His bookThe Hero Factor: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create Winning Cultures spells out the qualities needed for hero leadership as well as the actions of a hero business.

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This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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