10 Major Causes in Leadership Failure

Causes in Leadership Failure

10 Major Causes in Leadership Failure

In Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” he outlines the major causes for failure in leadership. As I read through the list a few times, I had to be introspective of myself and my leadership style. Most leaders desire to be a good one or at least deceive themselves into believing they are. So here are Napoleon Hill’s reasons for a breakdown in leadership. Before you attribute them to your superiors, examine yourself and your communication style to see if there are things you can tweak to become a more effective leader yourself.  

1)      Inability to organize details: If you want someone to follow you, you have to have a detailed plan of action for your subordinates. It is one thing to have a great vision, it is another to communicate it effectively and in digestible steps that others can easily follow. Even Habakkuk 2:2 instructs leaders to “write the vision and make it PLAIN so that he that reads it can run with it.” If you fail to organize details, it’s the small foxes that will inevitably spoil the vine in your endeavor.

2)      Unwillingness to render humble service: No one wants to follow a haughty leader. If you’re too good to serve your followers, they won’t want to serve your cause either. Your subordinates will become resentful of your leadership style if it consists of a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. Leaders do what is necessary to get the job done by leading by example, not by an authoritative iron fist or high minded approach.

3)      Expectation of pay for what they “know” instead of what they do with what they know: It doesn’t matter if you have read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, speak four languages and know how to code the entire Internet, if you don’t APPLY that knowledge, what good is it to anyone? Sometimes leaders in positions feel they should be paid more for their education, meanwhile someone else with less education is their subordinate who is actually applying their knowledge and getting results. Want to get paid more? Do more.

4)      Fear of competition from followers: We all know that leader who boxes out their subordinates and doesn’t allow them to attend client meetings or doesn’t pass on necessary contacts or information out of fear that that person will take their job. It’s not necessary. Good leaders produce good leaders. Consider it a tip of your hat if one of your followers surpasses you. It’s a sign you are an effective leader!

5)      Lack of imagination: Creativity is key in leadership because things always change on the fly. You have to stay on your toes and imagine new ideas. If you aren’t imaginative and continue to create stale solutions, people will tire of following your lead.

6)      Selfishness: This is a HUGE one! Who wants to follow and serve someone who is all about themselves? If you are an “all about me” person, your motives will seep through in your leadership style and people will resent you. If you can’t provide mutually beneficial relationships and outcomes, people will only follow you grudgingly and out of necessity, not because they like you or want to be a part of your team.

7)      Intemperance:  If you lack self-control, moderation and fairness how can you maintain influence in a leadership capacity? It’s simple. In order to lead, one must be respectful and respected. If you display excess, greed or partiality you are likely to lose respect.

8)      Disloyalty: In order to acquire loyalty from others, you have to show loyalty. If you are loyal only to yourself or to someone else’s agenda who can assist you in ascending to another level, this leads back to point #6 – selfishness. If you waver between two agendas, gossip behind people’s backs or come off as snide, this shows you aren’t fair or stable minded enough to properly lead others.

9)      Emphasis of the “authority” of leadership: Let’s face it, some people get in leadership positions to flex on others. Whether it is because they’re insecure or seeking some sort of validation, pulling rank has no place in true authentic leadership. If the only thing you have to stand on to get people to follow you is your position of authority, you aren’t a true leader. How many times have we seen a peer be able to influence another before a superior can?


10)   Emphasis of title: Just because you have a title bestowed upon you doesn’t mean you are an effective leader. We see this every day in politics. True leaders don’t need titles. And just as with point #9, if the only thing you have to stand on to get people to follow you is throwing your title around, you aren’t a true leader.   


Chanelle Yarber is the Founder and Managing Consultant for BrightGirl Media, a digital media marketing firm. The consummate entrepreneur and innovator, Chanelle enjoys creating and implementing Internet marketing and video solutions for her clients as well as being a connector and helping individuals succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.  

Add a Blog


  1. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

  2. Thanks for some other wonderful post. Where else may just anybody get that kind
    of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I have a presentation subsequent
    week, and I’m at the search for such information.

  3. Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re
    working with? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different
    then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  4. Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness on your post is simply spectacular and that i can suppose you are knowledgeable on this subject.
    Fine with your permission allow me to clutch your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.

    Thank you a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  5. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day.
    It’s always interesting to read articles from other authors and use a little something from
    other sites.

  6. What i don’t realize is in reality how you’re now not actually a lot more neatly-favored than you might be right now.
    You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably with regards to this subject,
    produced me in my view imagine it from so many various angles.
    Its like women and men are not interested until it’s something to
    do with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs nice.
    All the time care for it up!

  7. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital
    to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  8. I just could not leave your web site before suggesting that
    I really loved the usual information an individual provide for your guests?

    Is gonna be again regularly in order to inspect new posts

  9. Unquestionably believe that that you stated.
    Your favourite justification seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to remember
    of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as people think about concerns that they
    just do not realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the
    highest and defined out the whole thing with no need side effect , other folks can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

  10. I have read several excellent stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much effort you place to make any such wonderful informative web site.

  11. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I
    can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking
    about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks

  12. I’ve been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if
    all web owners and bloggers made good content
    as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  13. Fantastic items from you, man. I have keep in mind your stuff prior to and you’re simply too magnificent.
    I really like what you have got here, certainly like
    what you’re saying and the way wherein you say it. You make it
    enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it smart.
    I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous

  14. wonderful put up, very informative. I’m wondering
    why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t realize this.
    You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’
    base already!

  15. Hey there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new
    to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any
    html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  16. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles
    or weblog posts in this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website.
    Studying this info So i am satisfied to express that I have a very
    good uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make sure to do not forget this website and give it a glance regularly.

  17. It’s actually very difficult in this full of activity life to listen news on Television, therefore I simply use the web for that reason, and get the
    latest information.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here