These Leadership Traits Can Ruin Careers

All leaders, including the most successful ones, face significant challenges on the professional and personal front. Like all human beings, leaders, too, seek recognition for themselves, social acceptance and avoid failure. These inclinations, if they take over, can impair a leader’s potential to succeed.

Leaders can lose their way from the path they set out on when these negative impulses take control of their professional life. These destructive tendencies must be kept in check, so that leaders can focus on their long-term goal to success. The primary driving force behind these destructive tendencies are external rewards.Image Source

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In fact, most leaders tend to fall into this trap of negative impulses fairly early in their careers. But if they remain unchecked they can take control of the leader’s professional life, this will lead to a downward spiral.

The first step is to become “aware” of these leadership shadows. Leaders must become aware of their shadows early, so that it does not hamper their growth during the critical phases when they reach positions of greater influence.

Here is a brief overview of some of these identified negative leadership impulses.Image Source

Imposter: Imposters tend to achieve early success that is often accredited to errors by others or luck, rather than one’s own capability and hard work. However, they fear being found out as “not capable enough”, “not knowledgeable enough”, or “not smart enough”. In the long-term, this will lead to poor individual performance, and creates a political atmosphere in the organisation.Image Source

Rationaliser: Rationalisers tend to blame external forces or colleagues when things do not go their way. If rationalising turns habitual, it becomes increasingly difficult to take the responsibility of issues and take collective action.Image Source

Glory Hunter: Glory hunters are leaders motivated mainly by money, fame, awards, power and glory. Having a constant desire to achieve greater recognition may lead a stagnated life after a certain level.Image Source

Loner: Loners tend to avoid forming long-lasting relationships, and do not have a network of friends, colleagues or mentors who can stand by them through thick and thin. When overpowered by the loner syndrome, leaders rely only on their own capabilities and skills to make the solo ascent up the treacherous corporate mountain.Image Source

Shooting Stars: Shooting Stars achieve great success very early in their careers. Achieving success so early means these leaders become vulnerable to burn out. They are often said to fail dramatically in the face of challenging situations later in their careers.

Once an individual is aware of their negative impulses, they can then focus on their personal development and work towards their professional growth.

The challenge is recognising these negative impulses early through peer-to-peer learning exchanges and introspections. Magnum Opus will help you gain a better understanding of these negative leadership traits before they take control of your career. For further information, contact us at or call us at 011-42676768.

Workshop Invite (Sep'2017) - Be A Part Of The LEADERSHIP Revolution In Gurgaon