The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make

Do you have a problem communicating with your staff? Do you feel you are not eliciting the best in your employees? If so, it is likely that “The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make,” holds the answer. The author, Dr. Hans Finzel Hans maintains that” inappropriate leadership habits often result from observing the poor leadership habits of others. ” (Finzel, 2000). He uses case studies and biblical principles to illustrate the top ten mistakes most frequently made by leaders. This book will help you identify your errors and provide you with the tools to modify your style for more effective management.

(Finzel, 2000). Chapter Summary The book contains ten chapters. Each chapter features a “mistake” and provides examples to show how each inappropriate leadership action can be modified to engender more effective leadership, encourage optimal production, and promote growth in the organization. (Finzel, 2000). Chapter 1, “The Top-down Attitude” is concerned with the number one leadership hazard. The author maintains that “The Top-down Attitude” is a militaristic model that involves egocentric, authoritarian attitudes, and that there are many other, more effective ways to lead.

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He cites the participatory management style as an example. (Finzle, 2000). Chapter 2, “Putting Paperwork before Peoplework. ” A leader with this attitude gives the impression that people are an annoyance; he prefers to work behind closed doors and is always too busy with “paperwork” to be bothered by people. (Finzle2000). According to Finzel, (2000), “regardless of what orientation one has in leadership style–task or people–effective leaders make room for people. Leaving them out is a big, big leadership mistake. ” (Finzle, 2000). Chapter 3, “Absence of Affirmation” is concerned with the incentives that motivate people.
According to the author, (2000), affirmation motivates people much more than financial incentives….. People thrive on praise. It does more to keep the people who work for you and with you fulfilled than fortune or fame could do. ” (Finzle, 2000). Chapter 4, “No room for mavericks” describes how “the most creative and…. employees are often forced to comply with the inside-the-box thinking…. of the Mavericks create messes by their very nature–the good messes institutions need. ” (Finzle, 2000). Without “mavericks” many companies simply fade out of existence, and many others become a shadow of what they once were.
Yet today inside many corporations are leaders so focused on compliance and control, that they may control away their futures, and drive those who are innovative away to other places. (Finzle2000). “Don’t allow your policies and procedures to stifle your brightest stars. Be flexible. Bend the rules, if you believe that someone needs more space. ” (Finzle, 2000). Chapter 5, “Dictatorship in Decision-making is about the attitude of “I am the leader and I know best….. According to Finzel, great leaders are those who truly feel that the led are just as important as the leader. ” (Finzle, 2000).
Chapter 6,”Dirty Delegation” and how it deflates enthusiasm for a project. “Leaders make this error in the name of getting things done. Relax and let go. ” (Finzle, 2000). Chapter 7, “Communication Chaos. ” “Never assume that anyone knows anything,” Finzel says. (2000). “The higher you go in leadership, the more sensitive you have to be about everything you communicate,” he says. “Every time I make a phone call or write a letter or make a decision, I have to ask, “what people are affected by this decision/letter/memo/directive? What are the linkages? ” (Finzle, 2000). Chapter 8, “Missing the Clues of Corporate Culture.
” Very simply defined, Finzel points out; corporate culture is “the way we do things around here. ” (Finzel, 2000). “If you miss the culture clues as a leader, you may be in for some tough times,” he says. (Finzel, 2000). “As a leader, spend some time alone and sort out your own values and beliefs. Then work it through with your leadership team and come up with a list of the values and beliefs your whole team stands for. This becomes the powerful glue that holds you together, like the individual layers in a sheet of plywood. ” (Finzle, 2000). Chapter 9, “Success without Successors.
” In this chapter, the author gives the real-life example of a “large church where the plan was to have the older, soon-to-retire pastor to mentor the younger chosen successor. However, two camps soon developed with those who wanted change following the younger man and the “I side with the old” people following the older man. The older pastor quit in protest and the successor was voted out of the church, leaving it leaderless. ” (Finzel, 2000). The answer to the dilemma? “To end well, we must not get too wrapped up in our own indispensability. Humility is the key to finishing well and passing the torch on to our successors (Finzel, 2000).
Chapter 10, “Failure to Face the Future. ” According to Finzel, (2000), “A leader’s concentration must not be on the past nor on the present, but on the future. If we don’t make the time to plan for the future, we will be its victims. ” (Finzle, 2000). The author concludes his work with ideas about changes in the general philosophy of leadership, the reminder that setting goals that will help you avoid errors in leadership. (Finzle, 2000). Critique This book is accurate in theology and doctrine, and is useful and appropriate for both spiritual and secular leadership roles.
It enables the leader to identify acquired habits and potential pitfalls that lead to leadership problems, and provides the tools to help them alter their style for more effective management. It is significant that the author suggests a concise list of such habits for leaders to dissect and change, with anecdotal examples. Dr. Finzel’s concepts can be employed in most companies and organizations. His strategies embrace a positive, ethical approach to leadership that has been noticeably absent in many corporate cultures in America in recent history.
Each chapter presents some outstanding insights into how leaders fail to make the most of their people, and get results. (Finzel, 2000) Hans Finzel makes the case that poor leadership habits are often the byproduct of observing others’ poor leadership habits. This book suggests a concise list of such habits for leaders to dissect and change, with anecdotal examples as well as clear action items that can be implemented tomorrow morning. (Finzel, 2000) The author also makes some very significant points about improvements that need to be made in our country’s philosophy of leadership. (2000).
He states that today’s leaders: • Replicate the poor leadership habits they have observed in others. • Often lack basic skills for common leadership demands. • Lack good models and mentoring • Lack formal leadership training (Finzel, 2000) Many-books are available today, but this book is different because it delivers what it promises, and provides no-nonsense, practical advice for managers and supervisors. The author’s positive and supportive attitude fosters real interaction and communication, and is a superior accolade to the relationship between leaders and those they guide. Opinion
This is a book is a priceless instrument for anyone in position of leadership. Dr. Finzel’s strategies embrace a positive, ethical approach to leadership that has been noticeably absent in America’s corporate culture in recent history About the Author Dr. Finzel is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, and the Fuller School of Missions. He is the executive director of Conservative Baptist International, which is a mission organization. He has held that position since 1993. (Powell’s Books, 2005). Prior to beginning his job at CBI, Dr. Finzel spent ten years working in the field of leadership training in Vienna, Austria.
He lives in Littleton, Colorado with his wife and their four children. (Nelson Ministry, 2000). Bibliography About the Author (2005). Powell’s Books Services [On Line]. Available from: www. powells. com/biblio? PID=719&cgi=product&isbn=0781433657. Accessed December 14, 2005. Biography of Hans Finzel (2000). Nelson Ministry Services. Available from: www. nelsonministryservices. com/nms/bio. asp? cid=190. Accessed December 14, 2005. Finzel, Hans (2000). ‘The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make. ” Publisher: Cook Communications. Accessed December 14, 2005.


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