10 Mistakes Leaders Should Avoid at All Costs

This is a guest post by Enrique P. Fiallo. He is an author, speaker, and blogger on purposeful leadership. He focuses on Integrity, Ethics, Values, Team Dynamics, and Perseverance. You can read his blog or follow him on Twitter.

No one is perfect. No one can be right 100 percent of the time (even if you are Jack Welch or Steve Jobs), including an organization’s leaders. But there are mistakes, and then there are MISTAKES.

Man About to Step on a Banana Peel - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RapidEye, Image #17409874

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RapidEye

I have found 10 basic essentials that all leaders should have on their list entitled “things to avoid at all costs,” lest they end up on the wrong end of a no-confidence Board vote, a Shareholder lawsuit, or worst of all, an SEC subpoena.

As a former (and very green) CEO, I was guilty of all of these leadership mistakes, and they cost me, my executive team, employees, shareholders, and my family, dearly. The sad part of this is that I could have avoided all of these mistakes. So, please learn from my failures.

Some of these mistakes may be obvious; some may be a bit more obscure. They are all critical.

  1. Pride and Arrogance.The downfall of many leaders is that their early successes begin to inflate their egos. Never forget your roots, don’t think you are invincible or infallible, and don’t put yourself above anything or anyone.  An ancient script says, “Pride goes before destruction,” and it behooves leaders to tattoo that on their forearms.The trappings and power of the office lulled me into a false sense of security. I began to believe that I was superior to other people and institutions, and that I could do no wrong.
  2. Negative Influences.There is no lack of advice in this world. Some voices offer valuable counsel that can help keep you on track. Other voices will nudge you ever so slightly until one day you wake up and find yourself way off course. Tune in to the voices of value and tune the others out.I had plenty of people surrounding me, all eager to give advice. My challenge was, sifting through the ones worth listening to, and ignoring the others. How can you tell the difference? Listen to different perspectives from divergent sets of people, and then pay attention to the still small voice inside of you. The longer you listen, the better listener and discerner you will become.
  3. Lacking Integrity.There are many things you can lack and still steer clear of danger. Integrity isn’t one of them. Establish a set of sound ethics policies, integrate them into all business processes, communicate them broadly to all employees, and make clear that you will not tolerate any deviation from any of them. Then live by them.You have to carve out time to set the “integrity agenda,” for your own edification, and then to make it clear to the organization. I took for granted people would be able to figure out right from wrong. The problem is, in the middle of a hectic and pressure filled quarter, I myself failed to figure it out.
  4. Majoring in Minor Things.This is one of Jim Rohn’s basic principles for success. You cannot be successful in the long run, being 10 miles wide and an inch deep. There are a handful of things that are important enough to account for the greatest impact. Take a cue from Steve Jobs and get rid of the distractions. Tie your vision and strategy to the truly impactful things and execute those to the best of your ability.I failed by trying to do it all. You can’t. You will hit the wall, and so will the company. I became mediocre at a large number of things.
  5. Avoiding.If there are things that you can do, and should do, then do them. Don’t neglect them. The basic business fundamentals cannot be ignored. Strengthen your skills in weak areas or put people in place in whose skill and integrity you trust.I was not able to recognize the areas I was weak in quickly enough to either learn how to do them (sometimes not practical to do) or find people with those skills that I could trust to do them well.
  6. Lacking Values. Core values are principles without which life (or business) wouldn’t be worth living. As stated in the book Tribal Leadership, values are what the organization stands in. Establish a set of Core Values that can unite the organization, and then create resonance around them.I am now convinced that Core Values become the foundation of a well-oiled, world-class, customer friendly, ethical organization. I was clueless about this in the past.
  7. Blindly Trusting People.Reagan said trust but verify. While leaders can’t do it alone, the wrong people with the wrong skills in the wrong place are a formula for disaster. Allow people to run on “short leashes” until they prove themselves.I did not take the time to properly vet, and then observe key people in their role before I let them fly solo. Any competent, well-grounded person should have no problem with this approach.
  8. Spin Doctoring.Many Corporate PR departments teach executives to provide carefully crafted answers to questions to conceal the true facts. Present the facts, tell the truth, communicate the complete story and let the chips fall where they may. This does not mean you should divulge key strategies and give away competitive advantage, but the truth is ALWAYS the truth, while lies will come back to haunt you.My team would spend a too much time crafting the right story, which in hindsight, a waste of time and energy. A better use of that time is to meet challenges and problems head on, and to communicate openly and honestly, not “spin” a story.
  9. Short-Cutting.Some companies spend an inordinate amount of time flirting with the gray areas, and engaging in accounting tricks. The ethical, values-based and successful leader understands the law of the farm. As another ancient script says, “do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”At its most basic level, there is no substitute for the natural laws of business. Develop prospects, cultivate relationships, determine needs, propose solutions, close sales, ship product and book revenue. It’s a tried and true process that takes time and skill. There is no substitute for methodical execution. I was impatient and succumbed to the temptation of circumventing the natural process through faulty techniques and flawed actions.
  10. Short-Term Focus.Wall Street and shareholders are maniacally focused on short term gains. “What will you do for me next quarter?” is the mantra of the short termer. Don’t cannibalize future results to satisfy the present quarter. If your strategy is solid, stick to your guns, let it work, and remind everyone that you are in it for the long run.We became so obsessed with making the immediate quarter, that we severely impacted future business. As a result, we started the following quarter already behind. This continued to compound until we dug such a hole for ourselves, it was impossible to climb out.

These are the ten things that I discovered can make or break the most charismatic, energetic, brightest and hardworking leader, and also the company.

Question: How would rate yourself on these leadership mistakes? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    Taking short cuts (what I call “cutting corners”) will catch up with those who make a habit of doing so. I preach this to my students–they have to be careful of digging holes for themselves that they’ll stumble into. Thanks for the list.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      I really like that you are advising your students! Good habits developed early on, versus bad habits that perpetuate and actually get worse. When I find myself in one of those holes, I have to remind myself to quitr digging and figure out how to get out. Thanks for the comment!

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Yes, I wish more teachers would go to this length to help their students with life issues, not just book knowledge. 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Agreed.

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      “Start it how you want to finish it.”

      I always find it helpful to remind myself of this principle when I am considering or catch myself in the middle of taking shortcuts.

      • http://twitter.com/burlw Burl Walker

        I love that quote Jason!

        • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

          Thanks Burl! I’ve been trying to find the source of it. Anyone know?

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      That is a great principle to be teaching! 

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      It always catches up with you!

  • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

    I think I do pretty well in most of these areas, but I know I could always do better.  The one that sticks out for me is avoiding (which I also relate to procrastination).  I operate very well with a priority based to-do list, but sometimes I put things lower on the list than they should be because the task doesn’t excite me as some of the other ones on my list.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Yes, neglecting/avoiding is what I refer to as “perpetual procrastination”. For me, Jon, one of the issues in the area of avoiding, is that I take on too much, and then the priorities get skewed, and then some of the most important things get neglected because of the not-so-important things. Also, I think the comment that you make about putting something not-so-exciting lower down on your list, is right on. It may not excite me to go to the dentist, but if I avoid it, really bad things happen as a result! Thanks for the insight!

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I am guilty of that as well. I work more efficiently when I have a list of things to do and a timeline to get them done. But sometimes there are tasks I just want to do because they are fun or exciting so I bump those up when I should not.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Ditto!

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          :)

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I can be avoidant when it comes to difficult conversations. Difficult tasks don’t intimate me, but complicated people and relationships do! I’ve learned (the hard way) that avoiding a difficult conversation only makes it more difficult, and the chances of success slim.

      • Tim Blankenship

        Agreed! Difficult tasks are usually difficult because of the underlying difficult relationship behind them.

  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    These are great!  I would rate myself as “Work In Project”  ;^)

    Looks like another post to clip …

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks so much Dave. Work In Progress seems to make so much sense, because it implies that yo never stop learning and growing, and, you do not get down on yourself because you k now you are still improving and getting better!

      • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

        I agree.  I am definitely a “work in progress”.

  • Florian Potschka

    Thanks Michael for sharing your lessons learned with us. I recognized myself in several of these points and I’m sure the only way to avoid failing in the long run is to be aware of these pitfalls. So thanks a lot for reminding us.

    By the way: Your list has been splitted into two parts and so does not read 1 to 10, but twice 1 to 5. Probably you want to fix that.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for point that out. It looks like there was an errant character in the HTML that was causing that. I think I have fixed it.

  • http://tangoleadership.wordpress.com/ PoulAndreassen

    There are certain things you do not realize until you
    read them, and through your article I have come to realize those few but
    interesting and effective way to leadership.

    Thanks once again!!

     

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Sometimes things are obvious, yet we still don’t see them! I have blind spots (topic of another blog!) and it’s some of these that get in the way of realizing that you are doing something like avoiding, or taking short cuts, until someone calls you on it! I wish more people would! Thanks for the comments.

  • Lcturgeon

    Great post, and every word true. I have worked with and for some wonderful people over the years and remember the  advice I was given. But weeding the bad stuff out with the good is really an art, you can get caught up in the drama so quickly.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Laura, “weeding” is such a great analogy. Jim Rohn used to say, “find the voices of value and tune in. Identify the noise and tune out.” The world noise can crowd out the good stuff if we let it, just like weeds can crowd out your garden. We need to finely tune our receiver to the voices of value, and then learn and integrate what we hear.  Thanks for the comments!

  • http://CaptivatingCappadocia.com Duke Dillard

    Wisdom here. I really appreciate the honest vulnerability. Giving personal anecdotes helped me to personalize the issues as well. On another note, this post needs to be proofread again- way too many simple mistakes. I hope it is okay to point that out.

    • Jim Martin

      Duke, good point.  His honest vulnerability really makes this post engaging to read. It also causes me to reflect even more on each point that he is making.  Thanks.

  • Christopher Spuches

    Great tips, definitely worth reading once a quarter.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks Chris, great to hear from you again!

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad P

    Excellent reminders.  One thing about number 4 is the downward spiral this can lead to.  Eventually you lose sight of what really counts completely.

    I think having Truth Tellers in my life has been a key way of assessing where I am at with these issues.  We all need em!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      I love the concept of “truth tellers”! Someone you trust and can count on to tell you how it really is. What a blessing it is to find those people and cultivate those kinds of relationships! Thanks for the comments Thad.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I agree. Truth tellers are wonderful people to have around. They can help us grow to be the leaders we need to be.

      • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

        They are not always the most “fun” people to be around. However, they are essential for vibrant and healthy organizations.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Both statements are very true!

        • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

          very true!

      • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

        The truth sets us free.  Great stuff.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Yes, we all need Truth Tellers in our lives, but especially those of us who lead.

  • http://http.lookforhealth.blogspot.com/ Nichole

    I’m really trying to focus on number four right now. I have a multitude of ideas, but I need to focus on doing what I can well, instead of trying to do everything.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      That can be really hard to do. It is a real discipline.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      It’s tough! If it were easy, I suppose it wouldn’t have made the list! One thing that helps me, is to force rank my list (not always possible). Another idea is to think about items in your list in terms of their eventual conclusion/outcome and try to measure the value each would bring, an then use that to prioritize. Thanks for the comments Nichole! 

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Great list!  #7 reminded me of the lessons in the book Me, Myself and Bob, by the creator of VeggieTales. He put his trust in the wrong places and people,  and ended up losing his pride and joy company.

    Great life lessons! And good for you for being able to learn from your mistakes instead of repeating them.  

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Wouldn’t it be a sad story to not learn from mistakes! Thanks Kelly,  for the reference to Veggie Tales. Thanks to authors like the creator of that book, to give us great ways to teach out children some of these lessons.

    • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

      Kelly —

      My mind went straight to Me, Myself and Bob w/#7 as well! 

      “trust but verify” is wise council. I think I’ve become too trusting of my student workers, whose schedules dictate that they work when I’m not in the classroom. I need to put in place some simple verification procedures.

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Cheri – clearly great minds think alike. :-) Thanks for sharing.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I think wisdom comes with age and experience. Having made many of those mistakes through the years, you really learn from doing. Experience and failure are great teachers. In the technology field that I’m in, it is common to bring leaders in that have technical knowledge, but not leadership experience. While technical skills can be learned, leadership traits such as integrity and a customer based focus are much harder to come by. 

    I would much rather work for someone with good leadership skills, that knows nothing about the product, than someone with the latest degree or certification who hasn’t successfully led before. Ideally you can find someone who has both.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Great comments John. I wish I had been able to identify good mentors earlier on (like Michael Hyatt!) that I could have worked with to develop those skills. 

  • http://twitter.com/burlw Burl Walker

    The short term focus problem isnt’ just for leaders. It is important for bloggers as well. It is easy to create headlines that will drive single click traffic to our sites, but creating the long term relationships with our readers takes time and effort. There are no shortcuts. If we go for the quick numbers, they disappear just as quickly when the gimmicks quit working.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Yes Burl, you are so right. In many areas of life, blogging being no exception, patience, quality, and building long term relationships are so important. Thanks for the insight!

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      That is so true. I am learning this right now. My blog has gradually received more traffic over the last few months. It is exciting. I know that I have to stick it out and let that growth continue though and not “cheat” just to try and get clicks.

      • http://twitter.com/burlw Burl Walker

        Brandon, Great to hear that your blog is picking up! It seems that each month, mine gets a little more traffic. I think part of that is people sharing it with friends, and part of it is that as we continue to write, we become better writers that people want to keep coming back to read. When I re-read some of my first posts…they were awful! It is amazing anyone returned for a second visit! Keep working diligently and you will see the results!

        • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

          Thanks for the encouragement! I am blown away people came back to mine as well!

  • http://twitter.com/marketingwizdom Robert Clay

    What a great post Enrique. Thank you. I will be pads sing on the link.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks Robert! These comments are so valuable to me!

  • http://twitter.com/paul_sidwell Paul Sidwell

    Great stuff, Michael!  I have wasted a lot of time “avoiding” or rather “invoiding”, where I would attempt to learn things I needed to know but didn’t in order to: save money, ‘speed things up’, boost my ego or portfolio, and the list goes on.  It took me a long time to realize that i didn’t need to know everything, and that it’s actually best to allow others to contribute. By including their contributions, you develop deeper relationships, allow them to serve God by using their best talents, and the entire project/whatever turns out much better than expected.
    Thanks for posting this!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Paul, I really like the phrase “invoiding”! Your comments are so appropriate, because they help us to realize that we are not on this planet by ourselves. Thanks for sharing your experiences as well.

    • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

      Paul —

      “What am I ‘invoiding’?” may be the question that helps me stop thinking, “Oh, I could do that!” whenever a new opportunity comes my way.

      Having been raised with the “renaissance [wo]man” ideal, it’s very hard for me to find what Jim Collins refers to as my “hedgehog”: the one thing *I* do exceptionally well. 

      It sounds like you’re advocating “renaissance relationships” which allow me to include new opportunities in my life by via new people who enrich my life…rather than trying to prove that I, alone, can do anything and everything that catches my fancy.

    • Jim Martin

      Paul, what a great point you make here.  There is something so freeing about realizing that I don’t need to know everything.  It took me a long time to learn that.

  • Gayle

    Wish I had insight into all of this back in 2001! The take away is that we all learn from our mistakes. The best lesson is to share this with others so they can avoid making the same mistake we did.
    Thanks for sharing Henry!!!!!!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      I hear the mission loud and clear, about sharing, and helping others to avoid some of these pitfalls. Thanks for your comments Gayle.

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    For me, short term focus is a difficult problem, especially as I try to lead in my home. Making decisions there is often focused on the now and not later. Thanks for the post, Enrique.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      It’s a real balancing act Jeremy. I have to plan for the future, but cannot ignore what is going on and needs to be done today. Ants and Squirrels are great at this!

  • John I.

    You hit the nail on the hed here, Henry! I have been in organizations that made these mistakes and I have made some of the sames ones myself in a leadership role where yo get to the point that you can’t see the forest for the tress. Thanks for sharing. Reading this from time is always a good for me as a check to make sure I have not lost my grounding

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thank you for the comment. I have come to learn that the list of 10 needs to be continuously revisited.

  • Anonymous

    What an excellent post!  I only would caution Christians to make sure the the still, small voice inside lines up with scripture.  God tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful and wicked.   If the small voice tells us something that goes against God’s Word, we need to deafen our ears to it and obey God’s Word.

    • Jim Martin

      Alle88, good point.  I also think this be a good reason for Christian people to be in relationship with other people who share similar commitments.  There is something valuable about being able to discern along with others what might be right and true.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      You are so right. My still small voice is God, but it wasn’t always the case! Thanks for the great point!

    • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

      Great Bible verse!

  • http://twitter.com/Robbie_Mack Robbie Mackenzie

    Good stuff Enrique.  I like how each answer is chalked-full with ethical implications.  Reading this post reminded me of Jim Collins’ principles in Good to Great.  Thank you for this. 

    • Jim Martin

      Robbie, I really had not thought about each answer describing ethical implications.  Maybe this is one reason why the post is refreshing.  Sometimes such self-reflection does not seem to move beyond the pragmatic.  (“I did this or that and I should not have because it didn’t work, etc.”)  Enrique’s reflections move beyond this.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thank you  for the comment Robbie, and for the observation about Jim Collins’ theme. He is great company to be in.!

  • Chris

    With #7, did you mean to state that you *do* take the time to properly vet, and then observe key people in their role before I let them fly solo?

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Chris, I SHOULD have taken the time to vet, and I didn’t. I DO that now! Thanks for allowing me to clarify that.

  • Mark Levison

    Let me add #11 for you: Focusing on cost over value. I find many leaders who focus on costs through out their business and as a result never see the value that these costs deliver. They will pay software developers to write code, but not pay additional costs for modern tools. In many cases the tools would help the developers be more productive and produce a higher quality product, yet the leaders see only the cost.

    Cost is important, but think about the value first.

    Cheers Mark Levison Certified Scrum Trainer | Agile Pain Relief Consulting
    http://agilepainrelief.com/ 

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Right on Mark. As a former CEO, I was so focused on improving the bottom line, often by reducing cost, versus looking for and driving value.  This is part of Short Term thinking as well. Thanks for your comments. Always welcome and “value’ able! 

  • Yassel Piloto

    Really valuable and inspiring reading, even for those of us who practice leadership from a non-managerial stand within an organization.

    As a humanist and believer of the potentialities of the human being, I specially like (and practice) the #7 Blindly Trusting People. I think this is a key ingredient in the creation of a team collective conscience that raises, at the same time, the participation of each individual. There is only one outcome to it, a Team that trusts it’s members. 

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks for the insightful comments Yassel. Some of the most powerful and effective leaders I have met, were informal, non-manager leaders! They lead by example and character and integrity.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Definitely guilty of all of the above. John Maxwell says that leadership starts out as a position. If you’re not careful it will never be more than that. 

    Once I got the integrity and values part right, the others fit into place much better. 

    I think that’s true with everyone. Thank you for sharing your mistakes with us to better learn. 

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks Sundi Jo. I consider it an honor to be able to share. 

      Integrity is everything,  and I believe values and integrity become part of your character over time. 
      Chris Widener 
      http://chriswidener.com/ describes skill and integrity as two qualities people need to have in order to lead (be followed, because no one can lead anyone who doesn’t care to follow). I am such a firm believer in that!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I also think that the integrity and values are foundational.  They make the rest so much easier to avoid.

  • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

    Excellent advice! Thank you-tucking this article in close!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks Sarah! I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and that you feel it is valuable enough to “tuck in close”! 

  • John Young

    Dead on with this one Mike. This reminds me of why a guy like John Maxwell can continue to have consistent success. Everyday someone, whether a new employee or older executive, decides he / she doesn’t know everything and becomes a student.  And in our humanness, we have to be reminded the basics work even if we sometimes forget.      

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      I once felt I knew most (if not all) things I needed to lead and be successful. Huge mistake. Now, I consider myself a life-long student, constantly learning, refining and fine tuning, based on the collective wisdom of others. Thanks John, for your comments.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      This is something I have become very excited about. I really love to learn and I get excited knowing that I can continue being a student even though I am out of school. I keep tweaking and learning and pushing forward.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I agree.  Continuing my education, even though not in a traditional manner, is very important to me.

        • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

          Yes, I discovered that I really missed learning. I miss the classroom setting, but this is the next best thing.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      A true leader never stops being a student of leadership. Great reminder, John.

  • Jason Haas

    Great post Michael. As someone who studies leadership and thrives to live it out, this is a great list that encompasses many of the major negative tendencies leaders face and would all be in line with what others like Kouzes/Posner, Maxwell and others would state as well. Very good article.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thank you Jason, I am grateful for your comments and solid references to those authors and thinkers!

  • Jennifer Prelak

    Great blog! I really think the lacking integrity point is important. People follow those that they trust.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Hi Jennifer! Happy New Year. If you don’t have integrity, you will never be followed. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I like to trust people. I tend to believe that people genuinely want to help me and not harm me. I have been guilty of blindly trusting people in the past and it came back to hurt me. I am still learning. I still really want to trust people but I do some checking first now.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      That’s a great way to approach it! I don’t necessarily mistrust. I am just careful about what I trust with at first, until I know them and they know me (works both ways!). Thanks Brandon, for personalizing this!

      • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

        Right! The distinction between mistrusting someone and just being careful is a great one.

  • http://www.jonstallings.com Jon Stallings

    Negative Influences is a huge one. To me it is more than just negative people. But what am I listening (ie Talk Radio) and what am I reading. I need to make sure I am making positive investments into my brain.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Love that! Positive investments into my brain! Feed your body bad food, bad result!. Feed your brain (and your soul) bad talk and thinking, bad result! We need to learn the ability to tune out things of no value, and tune in to things with positive value. Thanks for the comments Jon!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    In my opinion, #s 3, 6, and 9, while similar, are crucial.  Integrity has to be one of the major foundational elements, and all three of these reflect that.  This has been something that I’ve been convicted of for a very long time.  It makes some of my coworkers mad that I’m unwilling to compromise myself or my values sometimes, but in the end I can rest assured that I did my best to be the best that God created me to be.  This was a great list.  Thanks for sharing!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks Jeff. Scripture says, “What good is it for a man
      to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”. I commend you for not
      giving in to compromising your values. We need a lot more of that in today’s
      world.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I agree!  This is one of the major themes underlying a lot of my teaching in my youth ministry:  being a person of integrity and character.

        • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

          Don’t let up Jeff. Our youth need to hear those positive  messages from their leaders. They get too many negative ones already. Thanks for your commitment.

  • http://jeffwaskowiak.wordpress.com/ Jeff Waskowiak

    I was in Barne’s & Noble yesterday scanning through books, and heard an employee tell a customer in conversation, “People only do just as much as they have to.”  As a leader, that thinking can’t take root in your mind at all.  If you want your employees/followers to excel and propel the business/themselves into new heights, you yourself as the owner/leader must exude that lofty confidence, and prove it in your actions toward your employees/followers.

    I strongly agree with #8 Spin Doctoring.  Not necessarily doctoring a story or speech per say, but operating at the highest GENUINE level of self-government and respect at all times toward everyone. 

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Jeff, from time to time, I get bitten by the mediocrity bug myself, so I can relate to the comment you heard at B&N. However, as you say, a leader needs to set the example. Having said that, Majoring in Major things, gives me the time to dedicate to the really important things, so I can do them well! Thanks for the comments!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      #8 (Spin Doctoring) really caught my attention as well. It’s almost expected that stories are manipulated to bring the individual/organization the most benefit. Truth and authenticity are disregarded as inconvenient.

      • http://jeffwaskowiak.wordpress.com/ Jeff Waskowiak

        Michele,

        You put it so well, “Truth and authenticity are disregarded as inconvenient.” 
        People want the easy way.  I can’t stand the lethargic logic that has entered into American society that various people choose to live by.   It is the people that live and work today like no one else, that will be able to live and work like no one else later in life.  At least, that’s what I believe for myself.  

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Agreed. Comfort/ease seems to be the chief driving force in our culture.

  • Anonymous

    A great list. I’d rate “integrity” as number one…but the most dangerous, from my experience, is “spin doctoring.” This is especially dangerous in this age of ‘branding.’ Let me elaborate.

    There is simply no substitute for the truth. I worked for a major entertainment corporation that convinced itself it could put out an inferior product because of the strength of its brand. A brand is a story that an enterprise tells the world about itself. With successful brands (Apple, Nike), the fans tell the story. This billion-dollar company was successful, but the marketing people thought of their customers are suckers who could be fooled — blinded by the power of the ‘brand.’

    They weren’t. The product died, costing the company hundreds of millions of dollars. People are smart — they can see through spin. Successful story-telling begins with the truth.

    A powerful enterprise is one where stake-holders can speak the most powerful truth — no matter how unpleasant — and be heard. That takes courage, but its absolutely vital to the long term health of the endeavor.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Great example, which really drives home the point. There is no substitute for intergrity and authenticity. Thanks Rich!

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      “Successful story telling begins with the truth”.

      Awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  • Bob

    Great post.  Sometimes it is difficult to discern between positive and negative influences/advice, but seeing how the advice squares with scripture is a starting point, understanding the difference between the promises and principles of scripture.  I believe that is where that small voice comes from, we realize that the advice is not in alignment with our core values but we rationalize otherwise.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      You bring up such a strong point Bob. Rationalization and justification was how I convinced myself to do something that the still small voice inside said not to do. Now I ask, 1) Is this decision leading me to an ethical outcome, 2) Do I want to be associated and lend my name and reputation to the outcome, 3) Would I allow the outcome of this decision to become part of my character and legacy. These 3 questions help me to quiet the noise and make the decision without rationalization and justification.  Thanks for sharing this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Babich/100002993676826 Jane Babich

    Leadership is on going education about who WE are.  These “pitfalls” of leadership are so very important and throughout my 30 years, I have been at fault in all of them.  The Leadership mistake to avoid today for many Leaders over 40 is to not reject the new, just because the old is still working. 
    New, especially in technology,  has to be taken, valued and learned BEFORE the old proves to be outdated.
    Thanks for the reminders… it enabled me to “sharpen the saw” a little before it became a mistake again!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Jane, thanks for the reminder about continuous improvement and Stephen Covey’s Sharpen the Saw. When I finally saw the light, I admitted to myself that I did not know it all or have all the answers. How arrogant of me to think otherwise! I  realized then that I can’t ever stop learning. Why would I want it any other way?

  • Ken Pappas

    I think we would all find ourselves in one bucket or another here. Some in multiple categories. The benefit to identification is that you admit in your shortfalls which then gives you the opportunity to address your shortfall, or not, then fail.  I’m pleased to finally see a list and I have to admit that I am personally in the category of “Work in Process” which means I have gone into and out of several of these items.  How did I come out of them? I have had mentors like Enrique in my carreer that took the time to coach me.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Ken, I learned at least as much from you (if not more)than you learned for me. And this what it is all about! There were times in my life when I didn’t step up and become accountable for this list. That’s in the past! Growth and maturity start with a recognition of one’s issues, and then, with a determination to continuously improve. Really great to hear from you! Thanks for the comments. 

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Wow! Great post! My favorite point was: majoring in minor things. You really can’t do it all!

    Great stuff!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Jim Rohn uses that phrase a lot. Not sure who came up with it. It’s been the story of my life until recently! Kind of like, Nero fiddling while Rome burned! Thanks Brandon!

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Also, the spin doctor thing. You really have to be careful what you say today. It is unfortunate that it has come to this!

  • Sandra Eisenberg

    Excellent insights.  Your “avoiding” point reminds me of a Dale Carnegie quote: “I have known men in the ranks who will stay men in the ranks simply because they lack the ability to get things done.”  Sometimes any decision is better than no decision at all!  All in all excellent points for a CEO — new or old!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Great quote by Dale Carnegie! I have to be careful about making just “any” decisions, though. Decisions still have to be ethical, principles-based choices. However, not doing anything is a decision too (“if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”). Thanks for sharing the quote and for your comment Sandra. Hope all has been well this New Year for you!

  • Sarah Web21

    Couldn’t get past the  “my executetive team” in the second paragraph. Another mistake is to not use spell check!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Sorry about that Sarah. The opening sentence does read “No one is perfect”, but that’s not an excuse. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is totally my fault not Enrique’s! I apologize. It is fixed.

  • Proth1

    Very nice job, Henry. All very important points to think about.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks for your kind comment Paul!

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    If I say 100% then I may have failed at #1.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Ben, number 1 is an outright toughie! Someone once told me, “you can’t do Humility. Once you say you are humble, by definition, you are not!”. All I can say is that every day I work hard to think about doing things for the right reason, and not to feed my ego and pride. Last night, I was speaking to a group in South Florida called the Back on Track Network at St. John Neumann Church. I was so well received, as was the message, that it would have been easy to let it go to my head (what a fantastic presenter I am!). Luckily, my wife Barbara was in the audience. After the talk, she came up to me and said, “nice job, but you should have done a better job of tying back the theme of your talk with the purpose of the group.”  She was right! Talk about keeping me humble! The point is, since we can always improve and do better, and we are human and fallible, just thinking about that keeps me from “inflating” my ego. Thanks for the ownership of number 1 Ben. Right there with ya! 

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      But I really did get 100%! :P

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Great post! I sometimes feel like I’m avoiding leadership because I’ve seen others make these mistakes, and I’m afraid of making them too. What I mean to say is, I know I make many of those mistakes in life already, but I’d be much more visible as a leader. Fear has a hold of me. Hearing your honesty is inspiring me to maybe try again.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Absolutely try again and again Kari. I have learned far more from my mistakes than I have from my successes. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to offer my experiences and to hear that they have inspired you. Thanks for your candid comments!

  • Rj5621

    Great insight. I will pass this on to folks at AT&T. Rommie Johnson

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Rommie, we’re glad you enjoyed this post! Thanks for passing it on to others.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks Rommie! It is so fulfilling to be able to share and to know you may be helpful to others. I appreciate you passing it on.

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  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I struggle most with number 5, Avoiding.

    I’ll avoid it when I feel awkward asking or if I feel incompetent. It’s not the right thing to do but we all fall into traps. That is one of mine.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Joe, I suffer from the “feeling incompetent” thing as well. For a writer, fear and doubt creeps in as you are working on something. Is it good enough? Am I really qualified to write this? Will it be well received? And I can easily convince myself to stop. Frozen! Talked myself out of it! It’s a challenge at times to focus on the potential good we can do, even if the work is not perfect. Thanks for the insight, and for sharing this vulnerability. 

  • James A Esposito

    Emerging
    leaders are fortunate that Henry has decided to share his wisdom with us.  I recently had the pleasure of hearing Henry
    speak at a local event in Miami.  His
    charismatic, candid speaking ability augments his lessons with a palpable
    impact you’ll undoubtedly feel when you hear his story in person.  If you liked the “10 Leadership Mistakes”
    blog, I highly recommend that you hear Henry speak in person. You will not be
    disappointed.  Cheers!

  • Rich Szymanski

    Henry, Inspiring. The way to truly learn is from one’s own mistakes.    

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Hi Rich! Thanks for reading and sharing your comment. You knew me back in a time when I would not admit, much less learn from my mistake. I have come to realize that the best learning and growth comes from becoming aware, acknowledging, becoming willing, and then working on the mistakes.

  • James A Esposito

    Emerging leaders are fortunate that Henry has decided to share his wisdom with us.  I recently had the pleasure of hearing him speak at a local event in Miami.  Henry’s charismatic, candid speaking ability augments his lessons with a palpable impact you’ll undoubtedly feel when you hear his story in person.  If you liked the “10 Leadership Mistakes” blog, I highly recommend that you hear Henry speak in person. You will not be disappointed.  Cheers!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      James, I am flattered. Thanks so much.

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    Awesome post, I’ve been guilty of a few of these but with the Lord’s grace I’m working on being the leader the Lord wants me to be.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

      Kimanzi,
      I am with you.

      • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

        Thanks Enrique and Barry. Change starts with individuals, if we change and trust the Lord, the Lord can use us to change the world for Him!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Proverbs 3:5 tells us to Trust the Lord and Lean not on our own understanding. My progress in this area is all about the Lord working in me. Thanks Kimanzi!

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    I enjoy majoring in minor things. Over the past year I have got much better at it and it has caused other people to rise to the occasion. I also am great at avoiding the thing I know I need to do. That is something that I can’t wait to fix this year. It’s on my New Years resolution list!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

      Daren,
      What kind of minor things do you like majoring in? Your statement made me say, “Hmmmmm?”

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        I definitely shouldn’t respond to posts at 1am when I receive these e-mails. This is the case of my brain not working as well as I’d hoped it would. I live in Australia which means I get the blog posts at a different time then everyone else.

        What I was saying is that I micromanage a lot and it doesn’t help the big picture of things when working as a team. When putting songs or an album together, you have to do those things because you’re working with a very specific project but micromanaging people always limits the capacity of a project. I believe that just getting the right people on board and letting them do what they do best is the solution.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Majoring in Minor keys? :-) It would be great to hear more about how you are working in this area from a musician’s point of view. As an amateur musician, I often wonder how professional musicians are able focus and not get distracted by minor things and to create beautiful works. Could you share a story or two? Thanks for commenting!

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        To create anything amazing, you need proven people in their expertise on board with your project. Attention to detail is important but in regards to people, it can be a creativity killer.

        At church I lead teams of trained and untrained musicians and singers. Excellence in music is not the aim here, otherwise our team would be cut to a few chosen people. The aim is to serve God and to bring people on the Journey.

        When I work as a Session musician, I am hired for my ability. Excellence in music is the aim.

        It’s all about just defining what the goal is. If we put an album together, we put our best foot forward and we  have the most creative and talented musicians and singers. In a Church service though when you include volunteers from all walks of life, things change and so must your expectations.

        • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

          Great points. Thanks for expanding on that!

  • Ana Cristy

    Thank you for sharing your experience.  I had the privilege of attending your
    presentation last night, and it was really enlightening.

    In my opinion number one in the list should be Core Values, these, like you mention,
    become the foundation, not only of the organization, but each of us as an entity
    as well. Following those Core Values will
    prevent us from falling into many of the other mistakes you mention.

    Pride is a real challenge for me.  God does not like the proud, and He is very
    specific in His Word when talks about it. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Agreed, Core Values are so important!  Communicating and living those core values can be a challenge, though.  Michael wrote a great post about that called How Do You Communicate Your Core Values?.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Hi Ana, and thanks for attending Thursday night and for reading and commenting! You make a great point about Core Values.  Dave Logan at  http://www.triballeadership.net/ talks about how Core Values are what organizations, teams, companies, and people stand in, to govern themselves and foster a unity of purpose and of behavior. I am working with several teams, and one of the first things we do as we organize as a group is to go through a Core Values exercise. What a HUGE difference that makes as we work together to make decisions, resolve conflicts, fulfill our noble cause and self govern. Those values become the TEAM’s way of live! Thanks again!

  • Vicki

    Two points that jumped out at me are Majoring in the Minors and Avoiding…Something that I currently do that the Lord is working out in me.  I find it interesting however that I am not the only woman who mentioned these two points.   Thank you for sharing, it is greatly appreciated.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

      Vicki,
      I am with you. I am really trying to Major in the Major. I am really thinking about hanging a sign in my office.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      I struggle with these 2 issues daily Vicki.  Old habits die hard, but I can see progress towards a new habit. One of the things that gets in my way towards majoring in major things, is multitasking. It used to be that if I wasn’t doing 10 things at once, I didn’t think I was being productive. Now I see that multitasking is not good (studies show a 10-20 point drop in IQ in those that are multitasking), So I have come to realize that it is not about being productive, it’s about being effective. Thanks for your comments!

  • Dulce Garcia-Williams

    This is excellent! Thank you for the reminder on the still small voice. It is always there God always is and is constantly speaking to us.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks for your comment Dulce. I always need to make sure that I don’t allow the world to drown out that still small voice!

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  • steve underwood

    Number eight Spin Doctoring really hits home.  We all make mistakes, but being able to honestly own your mistake separates people I want to work with and those I don’t.  

    Business, Wall Street and Government leaders have lost sight beyond the next quarter and this shortsightedness has cost us dearly in the last 50 years.   This was a refreshing wake up.  Thanks Henry.

    • Enrique Fiallo

      Steve, good to “see” you again! Hope all is well. My best to Dawn also. Yes Steve, I think you have hit on one of the key issues affecting business and society today, which is accountability. It is so easy to offload issues and problems on someone or something else (the devil made me do it!), But it is not until I held myself accountable that I began the process of dealing with my own shortcomings and healing. Great comment!

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  • Dan Pouliot

    Tragedy has an amazing ability to focus the mind on what really matters. Enrique, I am moved by your article. It is easy to read your points and say “how obvious”, but the sad truth is that these key values are missing in many leaders, resulting in a sick corporate culture. It is heartening to me to see that your circumstances have capitalized you into becoming a beacon to others to focus on what really matters. I’m sure that your  public attention and commitment to solid values is making a difference in the minds of those around you.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thank you Dan. You make an excellent point about how a focus on key values is missing in some leadership agendas. I don’t mean to imply that the lack of values in an agenda means that the leader and organization are not values and principles based, but I think that there ought to be an explicit statement of integrity, values and principles in the agenda, so that there is no question as to what is acceptable and what will be tolerated. Better to be stated directly and clearly understood than to just be implied, and then have questions roaming around in people’s minds. I feel a real responsibility to share this message. So far, it has been well received. Thanks for the comments!

  • http://blog.lifestrike.com/ David Valencia

    The perennial reason Christian Leadership has no worked and will not work as Jesus did is that 99% of leaders, including Michael are interested in power and strength rather than in weakness….read Jesus and Paul…it’s not my song

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks for your comments David. I am not sure if I would agree that 99% of leaders are interested in power and strength (I’ve not seen any studies in this regards), but what I believe is accurate is what Jesus told us in Matthew 20:25-28, when He said “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and
      their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead,
      whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be
      served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”. So to me the purpose of leadership is to positively influence people by serving them. Servant first, Leader second. There is a lot more to it, but better said as part of another blog! Thanks again!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a really strong conclusion.

  • CA Brown

    This blog reminds me that “except for the grace of God”…any one of us could find ourselves off track and in trouble…for we all make mistakes…and just like there are mistakes and MISTAKES…there can be consequences,  trouble and /or  TROUBLE… Thank you for your candor, honesty and words of wisdom.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks Cheryl. I highly value your comments! Even when I was down as low as I could go, I could look around and say, “Lord, there but for your grace, would I be.” Anyone can fall by the wayside. The sin is in not picking oneself up, and getting back on the right path.

  • http://blog.lifestrike.com/ David Valencia

    There is nothing that Jesus did from a paradigm of power, strength, or control, Actually and existentially is what we all, or better said, myself is tempted to utilize in this world. Think of the Devil’s trinity (if you humor me and are willing to go along with the trio) 1. Greed. 2. Lust. 3. Pride…in other words, money, sex, power, and in the words of John, the world, the flesh, and the Devil.
    And there is no one who is tempted more than the Christian leader…that is why the only the one who stays at the cross will not want to resort to doing things the pragmatic way…Paul met his impasse, his paralyzing turning point and became fruitful because he remained consciously weak, not trying to control. The only way to be real and effective in leadership is to be willing to be in touch with your personal weaknesses…that’s when you become soft enough that people feel understood and not used and are willing to follow your leading…and the reason you naturally become soft is because your weakness keeps you humble and truly open to allow others around to be creative and helpful.
    Most leaders are type’s A that thrive on “control” the one issue they desperately crave in order to compensate for the insecurity.
    By the way 100% of leaders suffer from two fundamental issues: Guilt and low self-esteem….no wonder the power that leadership gives us is so  compensating.
    Paul gave up and gave up “control” and you know the rest of the story…God made him a man of love and softness….read his letters…
    Look friends, I am the worst…and I have failed….I want you not to. I want you to give yourself up the way Jesus did….it will last for ever.

  • http://blog.lifestrike.com/ David Valencia

    There is nothing that Jesus did from a paradigm of power, strength, or control, Actually and existentially is what we all, or better said, myself is tempted to utilize in this world. Think of the Devil’s trinity (if you humor me and are willing to go along with the trio) 1. Greed. 2. Lust. 3. Pride…in other words, money, sex, power, and in the words of John, the world, the flesh, and the Devil.
    And there is no one who is tempted more than the Christian leader…that is why the only the one who stays at the cross will not want to resort to doing things the pragmatic way…Paul met his impasse, his paralyzing turning point and became fruitful because he remained consciously weak, not trying to control. The only way to be real and effective in leadership is to be willing to be in touch with your personal weaknesses…that’s when you become soft enough that people feel understood and not used and are willing to follow your leading…and the reason you naturally become soft is because your weakness keeps you humble and truly open to allow others around to be creative and helpful.
    Most leaders are type’s A that thrive on “control” the one issue they desperately crave in order to compensate for the insecurity.
    By the way 100% of leaders suffer from two fundamental issues: Guilt and low self-esteem….no wonder the power that leadership gives us is so  compensating.
    Paul gave up and gave up “control” and you know the rest of the story…God made him a man of love and softness….read his letters…
    Look friends, I am the worst…and I have failed….I want you not to. I want you to give yourself up the way Jesus did….it will last for ever.

  • http://blog.lifestrike.com/ David Valencia

    There is nothing that Jesus did from a paradigm of power, strength, or control, Actually and existentially is what we all, or better said, myself is tempted to utilize in this world. Think of the Devil’s trinity (if you humor me and are willing to go along with the trio) 1. Greed. 2. Lust. 3. Pride…in other words, money, sex, power, and in the words of John, the world, the flesh, and the Devil.And there is no one who is tempted more than the Christian leader…that is why the only the one who stays at the cross will not want to resort to doing things the pragmatic way…Paul met his impasse, his paralyzing turning point and became fruitful because he remained consciously weak, not trying to control. The only way to be real and effective in leadership is to be willing to be in touch with your personal weaknesses…that’s when you become soft enough that people feel understood and not used and are willing to follow your leading…and the reason you naturally become soft is because your weakness keeps you humble and truly open to allow others around to be creative and helpful.
    Most leaders are type’s A that thrive on “control” the one issue they desperately crave in order to compensate for the insecurity.
    By the way 100% of leaders suffer from two fundamental issues: Guilt and low self-esteem….no wonder the power that leadership gives us is so  compensating.
    Paul gave up and gave up “control” and you know the rest of the story…God made him a man of love and softness….read his letters…
    Look friends, I am the worst…and I have failed….I want you not to. I want you to give yourself up the way Jesus did….it will last for ever.

  • Jean LaCour

    Thank you for your thoughts about integrity and values… 
    your line about  taking “for granted people would be able to figure out right from wrong” also applies in ministry situations. 
    It can be easy to assume too much in ministries when scriptures and/or prayer are an integral part of the company’s culture….

    I appreciate the reminder to define values and to share them,
    especially important in a virtual context….   any suggestions??

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Hi Dr. Jean! Thanks so much for reading this and commenting. With respect to your question on defining and sharing values, I have experienced some pretty amazing results taking a team through a workshop to brainstorm, discuss and define their values for self-organizing and self governing. This is what Dave Logan and his co-authors refer to as a Core Values exercise as part of Tribal Leadership. At the end of this process the team (group, organization, company, etc.) has a set of 6 to 8 items that they defined and now own. These values are used to govern team interaction and execution towards their common goals/objectives (Noble Cause in Tribal Leadership parlance).  Feel free to e-mail me or call me (I know you have the number!) if you want to get into the details further. I can’t say enough about how well this process works in getting and keeping a team aligned and on the same page. Thanks again! 

      • Jean LaCour

        Henry, good evening! thank you so much for the feedback and giving me the incentive to read Tribal Leadership!    
        Be assured I will call you for more details and more insight.

        Your blog topic is hitting the mark with many of us.  We appreciate your sharing and your transparency.  Be well!

  • Olga Berman

    Excellent blog Henry! What a humbling experience. It takes a real man to allow God to use you in the way you are allowing Him to use you!

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Olga, thanks for reading and commenting. From my point of view, God had the hard part. My piece was easy. Listen, and then do what He told me to do!

  • Adrian Stone

    Henry,

    Thank you for the insightful and honest post as it is not
    easy to look at one’s past shortcomings and it is even more difficult to share
    them so candidly with others. I really do commend you for it. Two of your
    points really have resonated with me throughout my career. Both points 2 and 7
    really speak both to a leader’s ability to honestly listen to others who may
    not be their organizational peers and to make it a top priority to create a
    healthy, open, and respectful environment where dissenting opinions can be
    expressed up and down the chain without fear of reprisal. That environment
    includes making sure that everyone, including Sr. leadership, is expected to
    have transparent accountability to the team and the organization with clear
    goals and commitments. It is even more invaluable when it means being called to
    the carpet by the very folks you are responsible for leading if you find yourself
    veering off course. Unfortunately creating this type of environment is rarely
    given the attention it deserves outside of the annual corporate governance
    training and it is one of the most crucial investments we can make as leaders for
    the betterment of the company and for ourselves. It is very easy to want to
    hire likeminded folks and we have a tremendous responsibility to not fill the
    ranks with “yes men and women” or those of similar perspective.  Thank you for restating something that is
    often said and not done and for calling it out as something that had tangible
    impacts to your career. I also want to thank you for later in your career recognizing
    these shortcomings and for creating the type of environment where that was
    possible under your leadership. I personally benefitted tremendously from it
    and it has been something that I have tried to live by as my career has
    progressed.  

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Adrian, thanks so much for your insightful comments. I get in early to scan blogs and in general get ready for my day, and opened this blog to see if I had any comments that I needed to read and perhaps respond to. When I saw your comments, I smiled. It took me back to when we worked together, and I fondly remembered your intellect, ideas, and energy and how much I valued them and you. I can bet that you continue to demonstrate those 3 qualities, but now you have added insight and a deep understanding of what it takes to be a successful leader. Your team is lucky to have you! What you describe above I call growth and maturity. I went through it the hard way, nevertheless, I came through it and here I am. I coined an acronym, A.W.A.RE which stands for Awareness, Willingness, Ability, Resistance and Enablement, and I use it to describe the way people come to change themselves. It was not until I became Aware I needed to change, became Willing to change, found the voices of value that gave me the tools (Ability) to change, overcame the Resistance to change and Resisted slipping back into old habits, and finally, Enabled myself to the change so that it became a natural part of my new behavior and way of being, that I truly CHANGED. I wish it had happened sooner, but, then again, I was not Aware and Willing back then. I like to take people through the AWARE model, to show them that change is possible, and a necessary part of growth and maturity. Thanks again for bringing back fond memories of Adrian!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    At times, I tend to get into the trap of short term focus. I feel  I should get out of this weakness for my betterment. It curtails my potential for optimum performance.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Uma, it is the way many of us are driven, every day. While there are things that definitely require our attention right now (for example, a fire usually needs to be put out right away before it does great damage), we cannot ignore fire prevention, so that future fires don’t break out! I think there is a balance. I usually ask myself, “is this absolutely necessary to do right now, and, if I do so, am I going to be neglecting a future, important, long term outcome by not taking another action now”? It’s part art, part science,  I think. Thanks for your comments!

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        True Enrique! That’s prioritizing in life. We need to be good in that skill to make judicious use of our time.

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: 10 Mistakes Leaders Should Avoid at All Costs

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  • Mckobelinski

    I think at one time or another we all make some of these mistakes. Great advice. You would think it is obvious, but not really. Thanks. 

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thanks for the comments Mary. You are right. Sometimes the obvious is not-so-obvious!

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  • Natasha

    I like these  eye opener teachings…It makes you see the leadership position from another perspective…thQ.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Thank you for your comments Natasha. I have found great value in looking at tings form different perspectives. We all have paradigms (lenses) that we look at life through. Making a shift in our paradigm (perspective) and taking a look at something through a different lens (like walking in someone else’s shoes) really opens up the world. Thanks again!
      Enrique Fiallo

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