3 Traps Every Leader Must Avoid

Don't be caught in a trap.
Don't be caught in a trap. (Flickr, Nick Thompson)

It seems like there are more ways to fail as a leader than there are principles for success.

Perhaps the vision of a leader is so forward looking that a lurking trap is easily missed. Sometimes warning signs are ignored. But more often, leaders with a strong self-image fail to believe in their own vulnerability to a fall.

I think the list of traps is long. Every leader has weaknesses and therefore, is susceptible to certain types of traps. One thing seems certain, there is trap built just for me. There are quite a few actually.

I'm asking you to consider three traps that most easily beset leadership:

Trap 1: Hire fast and fire slow. Open positions on our organization chart are an invitation to fall into a speed trap. We almost never make good decision when we hire fast. The urgency to fill a position will cause a pattern of hanging on to poor employees too long, for fear of another bad hire. Poor hiring perpetuates itself.

Hire slow and fire fast.

Trap 2: Leader like. While we all want to be liked, a leader who makes decisions based upon his likability rating will soon be following his team. Metrics matter. A team must be led to produce improved metrics.

A like affair is as dangerous as a love affair.

Trap 3: Gut-based decision making. Decisions based on intuition will eventually catch up with any leader who eschews facts. This is a particular truism for a leader-on-a-roll. The better things are going the more we need to gather facts and input. We can never believe our own press clippings.

I have a gut feeling, I shouldn't trust my gut.

Traps do not scare me as long as I'm aware that traps await me when I think too highly of myself.

It's the self-made traps that catch us napping.


"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sound judgment, according to the measure of faith God has distributed to every man" (Rom. 12:3).


Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's newsletters.

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective