7 Habits That Are Destroying Your Ability to Lead

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-7-38-51-amWhether you are a manager, supervisor, entrepreneur or leader, it is your leadership abilities that will ultimately dictate your professional success or failure.

That means you need to identify which habits are working for you and which aren’t, and eliminate anything that may be keeping you from your goals.

Here are seven of the most destructive habits leaders can maintain:

1. Surrounding yourself with clones.  Strength lies in diversity and difference and challenge; being around people who are just like you may be comfortable, but it keeps you playing small.

2. Speaking without listening.  The best leaders listen more than they speak, and they know the importance of hearing and gathering information from all.

3.  Confusing activity with productivity. It’s easy to fall into the trap of keeping busy without actually being productive. There is always so much to do, but the tasks you naturally reach for are not necessarily the ones that should be at the top of your list of priorities. Instead of plowing through a to-do list, ask yourself what you should be doing to attain the results you want to see—to move you closer to your goals.

4. Flying solo. One of the biggest challenges for many people, especially leaders, is the belief in the power of one—the idea that you can do everything by yourself. Trying to do everything alone will end up exhausting and taxing you, and in time it will destroy your ability to lead.

5. Thinking you know it all. As a leader you need to always be willing to listen to others and be teachable. Sometimes people don’t want to have the answers handed to them but to brainstorm together and come up with a range of solutions. Other times people just want to vent.

6: Being unavailable and inaccessible. Being an unavailable and inaccessible leader, is the worst kind of leadership and management style, because it sends the message that your people are not important.

7. Constantly micromanaging. Saving the worst for last: Micromanagement is the flip side of leadership. The leader thinks no one can do the job as well as they can so they hover over you and make demands instead of allowing you to do your job. The message sent by micromanager leaders is “I don’t trust you.”

Lead From Within: Bad habits are destroying our leadership because they are hindering us from being the leader we want to be.


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.

6 Responses to “7 Habits That Are Destroying Your Ability to Lead”

  1. narendra

    13. Dec, 2016

    This is thoughtful @ Lolly Daskal ..You posts are mindblowing to be precise ….as always …

    Reply to this comment
  2. Francis

    14. Dec, 2016

    Wonderful article. God is faithful.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ron Ausmus

    17. Dec, 2016

    Another good piece, Lolly!

    If I may make a suggestion, there are lots of Boomers leaving the workforce through retirement. Some of them have served tirelessly as good models and mentors for the Gen-X and millenials who have come along to replace them. I think it would be great to focus one good piece on them, and their contributions to the culture and ethics of the organization. The theme of gratitude is appropriate, rather than the default to “good riddance,” as some younger workers only see the new promotion opportunities opening up for themselves.

    Those following in the Boomers’ footsteps will have a very different leadership style, of course. But lots of the good leadership lessons will be embedded in the Boomers’ successors.

    Keep up the good work!

    Ron Ausmus
    Denver, CO.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Will Grover

    15. May, 2017

    Thank your for sharing this Lolly. They are all too common in clients I meet all the time. I appreciate your insights

    Reply to this comment

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