- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (October 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780781445498
- ISBN-13: 978-0781445498
- ASIN: 0781445493
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 123 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make Paperback – October 1, 2007
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Do not be fooled by size or the title of this book. I have been in leadership positions for over 30 years and truly enjoyed this style of writting. He points out the mistakes and before you know it you are on knees confessing that you have done the same. This is a must read for every executive in your company. - mby Manual Hernandez.
From the Author
I originally wrote The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make in the early 1990s. I had just turned forty and was relatively young in my leadership experience as a new CEO. The success of this book over the years has been encouraging, especially since most books by unknown authors never go into a second printing. I have heard from so many readers who could empathize with the issues I brought up. Most of the people I hear from suffer in some way under leaders who still don't get it: the servant collab- orative leadership style. They write to say thank you for giving them hope and new ideas of how to do leadership right. With all that has been writ- ten about empowering leadership styles, my observation still holds true that it is not a natural part of human nature. Unless leaders are out there learning and opening themselves to different ideas on how to lead, most will continue to default toward top-down leadership.
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2. Putting Paperwork Before People. Remember that people are opportunities, not interruptions.
3. The Absence of Affirmation. Being affirmed by your boss is better than a pay rise. Encourage others by listening, empathising, comforting, carrying burdens, encouraging. Give little rewards that are unexpected.
4. No Room for Mavericks. Large organisations tend to kill spontaneity and innovation with policies and procedures. Every organisation needs a few mavericks to keep it relevant and moving with the times. Learn to identify which mavericks are worth keeping and make room for them.
5. Dictatorship in Decision-making. Dictators hoard information and make decisions alone, in a vacuum. They surprise their workers with edicts from above. Don't micro-manage; don't restrict decision-making to an elite group. Push decisions down the line whenever possible. Involve others in decisions as much as possible. Implement a flat organisational structure as possible. Let those who are responsible for doing a job decide how the job is best done.
6. Dirty Delegation. Dirty delegation is when you give a task to someone, then decide for yourself how it should be done, or what the final result will be. In doing this, you effectively take it away from them, deflate their confidence and destroy their trust in you. Learn to delegate to each person according to their ability to see the job through to a successful end.
7. Communication Chaos. Never assume anyone knows anything. The bigger the group, the more attention must be given to communication. When left in the dark, people tend to make up wild rumours. Communication must be the passionate obsession of effective leadership. Practice `HOT' communication: honest, open & transparent.
8. Missing the Clues of Corporate Culture. Corporate culture is simply "the way we do things around here". Corporate culture is the way insiders behave based on the values and group traditions they hold together. Changing and cultivating the corporate culture is one of the leadership's top priorities. You can discover an organisation's corporate culture by sitting with the leadership and senior management and asking questions that reveal their values (preferences) and beliefs (moral absolutes). Sometimes, an organisation's corporate value statement will not match their practices, such as saying they value family but pushing their workers so hard that they have no time for their family. Major problems arise when an organisation develops values and practices that actually conflict with the mission of the organisation. A corporate value statement is like glue, it helps leaders hold an organisation together; it is like a magnet, it attracts others to the organisation; it is like a ruler, by which a leader can measure the organisation is going. There is no better way to orient new staff that to take them through your corporate values and beliefs. Communicate your corporate culture clearly to insiders and outsiders.
9. Success Without Successors. Pride tightens the grip on leadership, humility lets it go. Mentoring is a non-negotiable function of successful leadership. Look for mentors inside (past leaders, someone above, peer mentor) and outside (external experienced person and an external peer mentor). Also take time to be a mentor to someone in the organisation who will one day replace you.
10. Failure to Focus on the Future. Vision is an effective leader's chief preoccupation. Organisations are reinvented with a new generation of dreamers. Develop into a learning organisation. Make the time to think about the future; go away from the demands of the job once a month, or once a quarter, and reflect on where things are headed and where the organisation will be in the future.
While Finzel talks about the mistakes leaders make, he also talks about how to avoid or to overcome those mistakes. So, this is not a "glass half empty" book — it's a very positive outlook on leadership.
This is one of the most readable books on leadership that I have ever read. It's authentic — Finzel is writing from his decades of experience in leadership in churches and religious non-profit organizations. He writes from a Christian perspective, giving examples from Christian organizations and referencing the Bible freely. However, the principles he articulates are applicable in secular leadership situations as well.
I found Chapter 8 on organizational culture and Chapter 10 on a future focus to be the most helpful to me in my current leadership role. A longer review, including my favourite quotes, can be found on Google+ or at http://bobruns.blogspot.com/2014/07/book-review-top-ten-mistakes-leaders.html