- Mistrustful individuals can appear successful, but their apparent abilities often hide a deep distrust of others. They are relatively pessimistic, however, expecting to be mistreated by the world and are overly sensitive to criticism. They tend to find fault in others so they can appear to be stronger – to tear others down rather than building themselves up. Mistrustful people hold on to power, assign blame, and encourage secrecy. An organization OR a relationship led by a mistrustful individual tends to become a reflection of his or her individual personality. It can be successful IF the mistrustful individual is more often right than wrong in his or her misguided decisions BUT such a foundation tends to breed fear rather than freedom…suspicion rather than sharing.
- Fearful individuals tend to be conservative, live by the rules, perform dutifully, and like to please others. They frequently, however, lack innovation and are so afraid of failure they would rather not act than do something perceived as wrong should it not be successful. Fearful people may WANT to move forward but constantly reign themselves back because they would rather "never have loved" than to have “loved and lost.” Relationships based on fear MAY be successful (little confrontation with single-minded focus) but rarely will they fully engage both participants nor fully leverage the contributions that all involved might have otherwise been able to make.
- Stubborn individuals can appear to be independent and freethinking. An optimist might paint them as being “dedicated” or “committed to their principles.” A realist might describe them as being procrastinators tending to work at their own pace, rarely changing direction or listening to the thoughts of others. Stubborn people often move forward NOT through their impeccable motivational skills but rather because they wear down their challengers by speaking incessantly without listening. It is one thing to take a “road less travelled” as long as you do not lose sight of your destination during the trip. It is altogether different, however, to simply hold out until everyone comes to your way of thinking – to wear them out rather than to work together to develop a mutually beneficial trail.
- Arrogant individuals often lead through charisma, confidence, and powers of persuasion. When pressured, they need recognition and “strokes,” frequently at the expense of those around them. They take all the credit for success and assign all the blame for failure. Feeling that they (personally) cannot fail, arrogant people surround themselves with agreeable people willing to sacrifice independence and a strong self-concept for the security of living a sheltered life within someone else’s shadow. Living (or working) within the shadow of arrogance may provide temporary relief from the heat of daily living but it will choke out individual growth – eventually stunting one’s potential much like a flower buried deep within a dark forest.
- Perfectionists are industrious, careful, and maintain high personal standards of performance – standards that may be too difficult for others to achieve or maintain. They can be relied upon to get things done, but must often do everything themselves to make sure it is done right (OR oversee others so tightly that they may find it difficult to breathe!). Their micro-management alienates others, causing staff to wait for specific directions (so that projects will not “be done incorrectly”) and personal relationships to languish (as equality is not a reasonable option). A perfectionist’s over-involvement may allow an organization to appear efficient and a relationship to seem fully functional for a short time BUT the truth will eventually set those involved free as one person cannot a kingdom build.
Mismanaging an organization’s resources often causes business to fail. Mismanagement of our personal lives and relationships may keep us from seeing our dreams brought to fruition. Become all that you were meant to be – and give back freely all that you have been given – by striving to achieve those proven characteristics we read great leaders possess while recognizing the negative characteristics that impact us all so we can avoid them to the best of our abilities.