21 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing

As a consultant and someone who has worked in some leadership capacity for about 20 years, let me tell you – I hear many stories of poor leadership. The poor leadership stories aren’t always sexy, but they seem to be more and more prevalent.

Everyone wants to talk leadership, share leadership, quote leadership and read about leadership. There are thousands of leadership books and blogs and lots of discussion about leadership. Leadership is the buzzword for everything and it should be, because everything truly rises and falls with leadership.

Again, as much as I hear people talking about leadership, I tend to hear more Stories Of Poor Leadership than I do Stories of Great Leadership. That is an unfortunate reality. If people in these leadership roles would simply “Stop It!” – maybe, just maybe we would hear more stories of great leadership.

Stop It, Stop It, Stop It – 21 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing

  • 1. Stop treating your employees like they are just another number and like you own them.
  • 2. Stop leading out of fear and insecurity.
  • 3. Stop thinking your position or title will make people follow you.
  • 4. Stop trying so hard.
  • 5. Stop flexing your little short-man syndrome muscles.
  • 6. Stop taking all of the credit.
  • 7. Stop thinking firing people is the solution to every problem.
  • 8. Stop letting days, weeks & months go by without praise & atta’ boys for team members.
  • 9. Stop thinking you know more than the individuals who work for you.
  • 10. Stop making excuses for not adjusting your style; “That’s just me” doesn’t work.
  • 11. Stop promoting and surrounding yourself with “Yes Men.”
  • 12. Stop being insensitive to your employee’s life outside of your organization.
  • 13. Stop being a fake chameleon, acting different ways with different people.
  • 14. Stop micromanaging.
  • 15. Stop saying you don’t have time or be unwilling to develop other leaders.
  • 16. Stop being unwilling to look, listen, learn, adjust and change.
  • 17. Stop having so many closed-door meetings.
  • 18. Stop complaining and placing blame on others.
  • 19. Stop thinking the bottom line is the only bottom line. (read more here)
  • 20. Stop thinking a little lack of integrity is okay.
  • 21. Stop reading the leadership blogs and books if you’re not going to apply the principles.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, there are thousands of leadership books and blogs at our disposal. The harsh reality as to why there are so many, is they are deeply needed. As people continue to get promoted beyond their capacity, they become disillusioned and believing that positional equity will carry them. Positional equity will only get you so far. Relational equity will get you much farther down the road; unfortunately relational equity can’t occur if people in these leadership roles don’t Stop It – Stop doing these 21 things.

Stop with all of the Leadership Talk and start walking the Leadership walk.

What do you think? What do these leaders need to stop doing? Add to the list and share your stories of poor leadership. 


    Scott, I love this article of yours! I agree with all of the above points!

    • ScottWilliams

      Thank you

  • Scott, I’ll be sharing this on my blog but please know that I’m crediting you and embedding links back to your site..this is powerful, thanks!

    • ScottWilliams

      Thanks for the kind words and thanks for sharing.

  • My Faves: 5, 9, 13, & 16. And…I think we can all stand to walk the walk better with every step.

    • ScottWilliams

      Thx for sharing your faves… Yes we all can.

  • Great post Scott. In leadership, less is more.

    • ScottWilliams

      less is more in most things 🙂

  • Maranatha John

    Great key Scott! 🙂 Wanna suggest “Art of leadership, 2nd edition” by Dag Heward-Mills. It expounds on a few of the points your mentioned in addition to some Bible-based truths. Be blessed 🙂

    • ScottWilliams

      Thx I’ll check it out

  • Beast of an article. Cheers!

  • Very helpful. Thank you!

  • maranatha

    Best leadership book out there: Dag Heward-Mills’ “Art of Leadership, 2nd Ed.” Check it out, and fulfill point 21! 🙂

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