icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-user Skip to content
Senior Correspondent

The Most Dangerous Leadership Weakness

The Most Dangerous Leadership Weakness

Dangerous leadership weaknesses include:

  • Lack of self-awareness.
  • Listening to brown nosers.
  • Pointing out problems without celebrating progress.
  • Closed ears and opened mouths.
  • People pleasing.
  • More on Facebook.

All strengths have corresponding weaknesses. Good with people often means bad organizational skills, for example.

The law of equilibrium:
Extraordinary always includes extra-lousy.

You suck. The better you are the more you suck. Put another way, people with average talent have average weaknesses; extraordinary talent has extraordinary weakness.

The more able in one area —  the more unable in another.

Embrace weakness like you exalt strengths. Until you do, you’re dangerous.

Most dangerous:
The most dangerous leaders believe they can when they can’t. Put gently, its ego; bluntly, its arrogance. Additionally, egotistical leaders justify weaknesses with strengths. “I’m getting results so chill out,” they say.

Getting through:
People who think they can, when they can’t, don’t listen. You can’t teach someone who already knows. Leaders who justify weaknesses, don’t care about their weaknesses.

Nothing short of a butt kicking gets through. But, kick an arrogant person and they kick back. When they have power, it’s dangerous.

Real issue:
There’s no hope until the door to frailty, weakness, and inability swings open. Only you can open that door.

You can’t move forward until you know you fall short.

The real issue is you aren’t wrong and can’t be weak, at least that’s what you think.

Solutions begin with you.

In your head start saying, “I could be wrong.” If you prefer, ask, “What if I’m wrong?” Keep moving forward but include self-questioning on the way.

After you get comfortable with saying, “I could be wrong,” start saying, “They could be right.” Or, ask yourself, “What if they are right?”

Leaders and organizations grow stronger when they acknowledge and deal with weaknesses.

More practical suggestions: “Believing You Can When You Can’t

How can leaders become better at knowing their weaknesses? What advantages come to leaders who embrace their weaknesses?


Stay Up to Date

Sign up for articles by Dan Rockwell and other Senior Correspondents.

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living
Love Old Journalists

Our Mission

To amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society

Learn More