Posted in self-improvement

How Successful Leaders Sabotage Themselves ~ 2013-0825


Why are high achievers so resistant to change even when their success is devolving? Why do they hold onto that one annoying thing that continues to sabotage their career? According to Goldsmith, there are 20 habits and 1 root cause for all of it.

From the August 25th Blog:

  1. Winning Too Much
  2. Adding Too Much Value
  3. Passing Judgment
  4. Making Destructive Comments
  5. Starting with No, But or However

Part Two of the 20 Habits:

6.  Telling the World How Smart We Are – This is another version of our need to win. We do this when we say “I already knew that,” or “I didn’t need to hear that,” or “I’m 5 steps ahead of you,” or “We’re insulting the other person.”  Before saying anything stop and ask yourself, ‘Is anything I say worth it?”

7.  Speaking When Angry –It is hard to lead people when you are angry. Anger stifles our ability to change. Once you get a reputation for emotional volatility, you are branded for life. If you keep your mouth shut when you are angry, people will never know.

8.  Negativity or Let Me Explain Why That Won’t Work – Are you one of those people who share your negative thoughts even when they aren’t solicited? If yes, this may be pure negativity under the guise of being helpful.

9.  Withholding Information – In order to have power in the informational age, you need to inspire loyalty rather than fear and suspicion. So be careful if you regularly find yourself too busy to get back with someone when you have valuable information, forgetting to include someone in a meeting or teleconference, or delegating a task to a subordinated without taking time to show him or her how to do it.

10.  Failing to Give Proper Recognition – Not giving recognition to others will sow injustice and also deprive people of the emotional payoff that comes with success. The people will feel forgotten, ignored and pushed aside.

11.  Claiming Credit that We Don’t Deserve – They best way to stop being a credit hog is to start sharing the wealth. For a week, every time you want to congratulate yourself on an achievement, write it down and then ask yourself who helped you achieve the success.

12.  Making Excuses – Do you blame your assistant? Your DNA? Make a list of each important group in your life. Then make a list of each important person in that group. Twice a week, look at the list and ask yourself, “Did someone on this list do something this week that I should recognize?” If yes, give him or her a quick email, note or phone call. After a year of doing this, your reputation for providing positive recognition will be greatly improved.

I especially like 12 above. It is something I will start doing in my own life. What about you? As of these 12 habits “speak” to you? If not, don’t worry, there are more to come in the next blog.

CITE: Goldsmith, M. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. New York. Hyperion Publishing Company.


Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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