The Hidden Flaws in Leadership: Why Some Managers Can’t Lead

A Comprehensive Look at the Common Pitfalls in Leadership and How Timeless Values Can Transform Leaders

Shri Krishna riding the Arjuna’s chariot with Shri Hanuman’s flag atop

During a recent client call, a senior project manager overseeing a portfolio of institutions and real estate projects shared his experiences with me. He expressed his appreciation for the leadership and executive training he received, highlighting the valuable methods and positive approaches to management and teamwork imparted by the trainers and coaches. However, he also voiced a concern.

He observed that while he and his colleagues at mid-level positions benefited from training programs organized by their superiors, it was the senior leaders themselves who often lacked the traits, behaviors, and leadership styles advocated during these sessions. This discrepancy left him puzzled and disappointed.

This situation reflects a broader reality. Consider the ongoing legal battle between Gautam Singhania, the current MD of Raymond Group, and his father, former chairman Vijaypat Singhania. Despite their high status, the father and son are embroiled in a conflict, with Vijaypat living with his wife in a separate home and Gautam alone in a 30-story house.

How does such a scenario arise?

  1. Lack of Awareness: In the pursuit of top positions, some employees, despite possessing leadership qualities, prioritize their personal ambitions over characteristics like respect, empathy, and unity, which are essential for the holistic growth of an organization.
  2. Lack of Principles and Values: The epic stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata illustrate the impact of values. While Shri Ram’s adherence to his principles earned him eternal respect, Ravana’s failure to act rightly despite knowing better led to his downfall. Principles and values are crucial for self-control and courage in leadership.
  3. Fear of Losing Comfort Zone: Some individuals ascend to leadership roles prematurely, clinging to these positions out of overconfidence, fear of further learning, selfishness, and fear of embarrassment, hindering their growth.
  4. Counterproductive Behavior: Gratitude is vital for a leader’s growth. However, some individuals, after achieving top positions, become more demanding and display toxic authority, leading to team discord and disintegration.
  5. Poor Communication Skills: Effective communication involves active listening, which some disorganized employees neglect. They focus only on conversations that offer tangible benefits, ignoring the overall wellness and culture of the organization.
  6. Greed: A singular focus on lucrativeness through maximizing personal gains can cultivate an environment characterized by greed. Such greed creates an unhealthy atmosphere for those involved. Drawing from the teachings of the Mahabharata, greed is shown to lead to eventual destruction. It promotes negative thoughts and indiscipline, which in turn results in organizational mismanagement and potential collapse.

When we deliver our Advanced Manager’s Mastery Program we place great emphasis on Core Principles and Effective Communication. Cultivating and communicating positive thoughts and embracing principles of abundance and integrity can help employees become authentic, mindful, and trustworthy leaders. This, in turn, ensures growth, success, and prosperity for themselves and those around them.

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