Why So Many Leaders Fail

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Let’s face it, most leaders did not train to become leaders. They’ve just been pushed into that position.

Many years ago, I started as a regular sales guy for a car company. My job was to sell cars.

I did enjoy selling and I got better and better at it. After a year or so I was approached by the director of the car company offering me the position as a sales team leader. It came with a nice pay rise and a share of everything my team was selling. You can imagine, it didn’t take me long to make my mind up and to accept the offer.

One year later they fired me!

I just didn’t get the team stuff together. I was good at sales, but I just had no idea how to motivate and lead a team.

I know, it’s quite a common process in most companies, that to move up the ladder you need to become a team leader. What most people don’t get is that team leading is an art you need to learn and practice to become good at it. But very often we never have a chance to do so. In reality, my job as a team leader had nothing to do with selling cars anymore…the one thing I was good at.

As an entrepreneur, you will face the same challenges. In order to scale and grow your business, you will need to create a team that helps you to take the next steps. But let’s be honest, how much time have you spent training and learning to become a team leader? Most never think about it! it!

When running your own business this can be fatal. You will spend most of your time learning the new skills and getting to grips with motivation and organizing your team. This will take away important time you’ll need to keep your business running. Also, a team costs money, which makes it even more important that you get them earning their wages as quickly as possible.

That lack of training and preparation is the main reason leaders fail!

What can you do to avoid this trap?

The best is to have a plan and good idea where you are going with your career or business. The clearer you are about this, the more clear will become which skills you need – and at what stage. This allows you to prepare everything you need at the right time and be ready for the new challenges you’ll face.

I know, sometimes things don’t go as planned and you might need to adjust. But you still know what you need as you keep planning around the changes as they come along. The important part is to know what is required from you and what you need to learn and practice to succeed.

Being a good leader is not about manipulation. It is about people. It is about a common cause and a clearly defined goal every team member can be part of.

It is about committing to making it together and winning as a team. It is about understanding the role you play and knowing when your team wins, you’ve won!

Over the years I had many opportunities to work in teams in different positions and roles – and I learned the value and power of a good team.

If you know that your next career step will be a leadership position, get ready now so your future team is a winning team.

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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