What Are Your Leadership Landmines?

John Maxwell is a leadership speaker and writer. I heard him speak Friday on the topic called “Simply Lead.”

He used a mathematical theme. To lead simply, a leader adds, subtracts, multiplies and divides.

For example, Maxwell said for a leader to become more effective, she should subtract leadership landmines.

Landmines are those things that you do that undermine your leadership. What are yours?

Are you impatient?

Is your bad temper a landmine?

Are you a micro-manager or control freak?

Are you slow to decide?

Are you hyper-critical?

Do you fail to follow up on commitments?

Are you a poor role model and fail to walk your talk?

Do you hoard information?

Do you discipline publicly in such a way that resentment builds up?

Do you fail to keep your word?

The late, great leadership thinker Stephen Covey wrote about a concept called “an emotional bank account.” The idea is this:

Every relationship is like a bank account. We make contributions and withdrawals. Contributions come in the form of encouragement, good teaching, words of affirmation, acts of kindness and generosity. Withdrawals are caused by igniting a leadership landmine.

My experience is that one landmine usually wipes out a whole bunch of contributions.

Contributions to an emotional bank account build trust and goodwill. Landmines wipe it out.

If you want to build a strong team or family. If you want to be known for your high character and integrity. Make a thorough inventory of the landmines.