Why Do Executives Fail?

Whether an executive or not, we all can learn from the reasons why high level executives fail and what to do about it.

In doing a little research, one common reason why executives fail is because they are still managing and not leading. My experience in going from a subordinate to supervisor was similar. I did my one job very well, but now I had to help others do their jobs well. Some new executives can’t go from following the rules to making new ones. They also don’t inspire their employees to think independently and can’t build a team to focus on a clear common goal. The executive has to keep this common goal at the forefront and not get caught in the minute details of day to day operations. The executive who fails can’t delegate tasks to subordinates out of a need for perfection or lack of trust that others can do the job.

Make new business rules

Define the goal for the new rules. Focus on the big picture, break it down into smaller parts and set rules for each of those smaller parts. It is also helpful to look at what you’re currently doing and ask where you can add or subtract things. Involve coworkers in the process, ask their opinion on what is working what can be done better. Finally, make and implement the rules and analyze the results.

Empower others to think individually

Let them know it’s OK to fail. Instill confidence in their abilities and stop micromanaging. It was difficult at first to trust my employees and not do it myself, but being hands off allows them to grow and you to focus on something else. Make sure they have the information and training to succeed. Let others know their opinion matters and will be considered in the decision making process. You are in this together, let others know they will be treated equally, praised for good work and respected as a person.

Don’t get hung up on the details

Leave perfection behind, it’s different for everyone, and remember the 80/20 rule. Focus your efforts on the details that matter to your “big picture” goal. Delegate the necessary day to day tasks to subordinates and outsource when you can. Don’t forget to set aside time to take a step back, look at the big picture and realign your focus.

How to inspire others to a common goal

Level the playing field, let others know they can trust you and they should trust each other. It is important to help them see and emotionally connect with the reward for achieving a positive outcome. Being a good enthusiastic example yourself gives them a template of what an inspired goal achiever looks like. To break the monotony, provide team building activities outside of the daily business grind and. On some level, care about others personal feelings and life outside of work, after all they’re people, not just cogs in the machine.

Be humble and human

Consider those around you along with their feelings. Listen before speaking, and share the wins. Give credit to all involved and ask for others opinions. This will build confidence and strengthen respect for you. Great leaders admit when they’re wrong and show that it’s OK. Don’t dwell on the past as it holds you back from moving toward the future. I personally use Godly principles, the “Golden rule” and recognize that I am only here because of the sacrifice of others. Don’t boast about achievements, the work will speak for itself.

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