Willow Creek Leadership Summit - Patrick Lencioni - The Most Dangerous Mistakes that Leaders Make

The Core Behaviors that Cause Problems for Leaders “When we do these things as leaders it actually hurts people”


Intro: Working with a CEO who was stuck at a growth barrier. - Company began hemorrhaging revenue and customers. - High cost of facilities (because of people moving offices all the time) - Eliminated the office moves. - Two weeks later there was a construction crew who was moving a wall 2ft in order to make the CEO’s office fit the furniture he was shipping from the East Coast for his office. - This guy, made the first mistake that leaders make.

1. Becoming a Leader for the Wrong Reason - Notoriety, Fame, Power, Attention, Money. - Most leaders say they want to change the world, but what they really want is to be known as the leader who changed the world. - Why should they become a leader: Because they want to sacrifice themselves for the good of others, even when they don’t know there’s going to be any return on their investment and sacrifice. - When people lead out of a desire for fame, power, notoriety, money, and attention…they eventually get bored, hurt people, create cynicism and leave a trail of tears. - Nobody who wants to be a leader should be a leader. - When people become leaders because they’ve already calculated the ROI it’s just economics. - Some people say this sounds like servant leadership, I actually don’t think there’s any other kind. - If it’s not servant leadership, then it’s just economics.

Illust: Famous, brilliant, and intimidating leader - head of HR told him, hey no one is giving you honest feedback and they recommended 360 feedback. - he looked over it and shared it with no one. - he said he’d do it at his next staff meeting. - he shared with the team, and I was there. - it says here, “you’re not a very good listener.”  - What do you guys think? - we think you’re a good listener..we think you give good feedback…we think you’re awesome. - I scoot up and say, “you are the ones who filled this out, so someone here had to write this. one of you is lying.” - The leader from marketing said “it was me.” - The point: is the CEO was making the 2nd mistake…

2. Failing to Embrace Vulnerability - All he had to do was be vulnerable and say, “I’m aware of this and you can point it out to me in the future too.” - He sent a message to his team that I’m not vulnerable and you shouldn’t be either. - The people who work with us, know we are sweating before we tell them. - I don’t think you can be too vulnerable as a leader. - People have a right to expect competence, but we need to share weaknesses and failures. - If you’re not interested in trying to get better then you’re not qualified to be a leader. - More often than not it’s worth taking the risk of being vulnerable. - If you can be kind and humble and let them know there’s a better way more times than not it will help. - This means saying, “I don’t know the answer.  Please help me.  I need your help.” - People will walk through walls when you become vulnerable and open to input. - It’s tough to be somebody’s pastor and manager at the same time. - Sometimes you have to say, “you shouldn’t work here any more.” - Be completely vulnerable about the challenge…”I’m your pastor and I’m your boss.  This is the part of the job that is hard for me.” - Company spiraled out of control, there was no trust on the leadership team, and an entire state’s economy suffered because of this. - Because one man could not say, “I stink at something and I need help.”

3. Making Leadership too Important - We (leaders) probably struggle with this more than the average person. - There comes a point when leadership can become too important. - Most of the time we think about leadership at work. - It’s easy to lose yourself in leadership in a church. - This means our identity is wrapped up in being a leader. - Our identity as a child of God, a parent, a husband is greater than our identity as a leader. - We can work so hard leading that we can ignore our primary vocation and constituents (spouse, children, and God) - Ask them, “Do you think my job is more important than you?” - We don’t want to say at the end of our lives, “I hope my employees come around and tell me what a great manager I was.” - Why would you do that? (People at my office thank me more than my children do, and they think I’m smarter than my kids do so why not invest more there than at home...this is a trap we can fall into)

It’s all about PRIDE.

- The answer/antidote is HUMILITY.