20 Questions for Leaders 16/20 Leadership Failure

From 20 Questions for Leaders:

What is the one behavior or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers?

I would say, without doubt, that the number one trait that I have seen derail the most leaders is, honesty.

This comes in many guises, such as not being honest about:

  • what was achievable, i.e. over committing, then under delivering;
  • the current status of the project, i.e. misleading people on the level of progress made;
  • costs:
  • the real reason for why actions were being taken;
  • personal interests

It could also be arrogance, in that they don’t think that their lies will be found out, but it all comes down to honesty.

Without honesty there is no trust.

This is why honesty is probably one of the most sought after quality in leaders.