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April 29, 2010

The Se7en Deadly Sins of Leadership: The New E-Book

This year, in honor of our 10th anniversary, we’ve made it a goal at The Grossman Group to produce a wealth of really rich, meaningful content to help leaders and communicators improve their communications skills to better connect with individuals and teams, as well as to drive measurable business results.  In keeping with that goal, I’m happy to announce the release of our second e-book this year:  “The Se7en Deadly Sins of Leadership.”  In it, I identify the all-too-common and truly detrimental mistakes that leaders make that distract and detract from effective leadership.  And these are true for everyone from the CEO or other C-suite leader, who is in charge of the entire company, to the team leader or project manager, who is overseeing a small group of colleagues.  But no matter who you are, the leader who falls prey to the deadly sins is perpetuating bad habits that can derail the best of initiatives and strategies.
Fortunately, for most leaders overcoming The Se7en Deadly Sins takes a simple combination of honest self-assessment and a concerted effort.  
So what are The Se7en Deadly Sins of Leadership?
  • Myopia (The sin of only seeing what’s right in front of you.):  It’s up to you to break out of your own world.  To reflect on the message you are sending to your team through your communication—or lack thereof.  The reality is everything a leader does communicates a message—whether you want it to or not. 
  • Hypocrisy (The sin of failing to practice what you preach.):  Nobody wants to be called a hypocrite.  But if you’re preaching one thing and practicing another…  Well…there’s no getting around the facts…  Most leaders don’t mean to be hypocritical, it’s just that they often don’t see that their own behaviors or words are at odds with the very expectations they have for their employees.  
  • Sloth (The sin of being too lazy to commit time and resources to great communication.):  It’s fair to say that 80-90% of the average leader’s day is spent communicating.  But how much time are those same leaders spending planning for those communications, and thinking about the messages that they are sending?  More like 10%.  And that low number has a lot to do with laziness.
  • Detachment (The sin of being disconnected and distanced from your team.):  Is Detachment a sin you’re guilty of?  Ask yourself how well you know your team.  What are they passionate about?  What are the little things that matter to them?  When are their birthdays?  When was the last time you interacted with them as people, not simply as your employees?  When was the last time you said thank you?
  • Materialism (The sin of finding more value in counting short-term deliverables than in achieving long-term goals.):  As a leader, are you output focused instead of outcome focused?  Are you too focused on the trees to see the forest?  Instead of thinking about end results and achieving goals, leaders often put too much emphasis on the importance of managing individual tasks and projects.  
  • Presumption (The sin of assuming that everyone shares your perspective and understanding.):  Sure, it makes sense that you would first approach any message from your point of view.  The trick is learning how to get beyond the assumption that everyone else shares your perspective and will perceive issues the same way that you do.  Yet all too many leaders focus on the message before thinking about where the audience is coming from.  
  • Irrelevance (The sin of failing to provide meaningful context for project and company goals and objectives.):  Do you feel like people in your company are walking around with blinders on?  Like every project exists in bubble?  Like no one has any idea how what they’re doing fits into the grand scheme of the company mission?  That’s because leadership is guilty of the final Deadly Sin:  Irrelevance.
Download the complete e-book to learn more about The Se7en Deadly Sins of Leadership, along with tried-and-true tips and tricks for overcoming them on your path to sin-free leadership.

- David Grossman
Tag(s): Leadership

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