Making mistakes is often forgiven when the outcome is small but when bad decisions are made by leaders, the outcomes can be far, far worse. Here are the top 3 leadership fails:
Social Media – Social media has grown 10-fold over the last decade and although it gives people and companies a licence to share news and events with the public, some people are using it in the wrong way. The marketing manager at American Apparel, for example, approved an email sent out to customers in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, which said “In case you’re bored during this storm. 20% off everything for the next 36 hours.” The hurricane had claimed 110 lives and had switched of a large majority of the East Coast, so he created a storm of his own on Twitter.
Selfishness – During the well-known Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the CEO of BP was forced to resign because he had made not one, but two, selfish acts. Tony Hayward decided to take a day off to enjoy some sailing whilst the crisis was in full flow, which showed him being selfish the once. The second act was when Tony Hayward decided to say “I’d like my life back” when thousands of Americans were still counting their losses.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better – Steve Case and Gerald Levin talked about their visions of a giant internet charged media service called AOL Time Warner, but got their visions cut short when the clash of cultures amongst the 90,000-odd strong workforce ended up being part of the ‘biggest mistake in corporate history’.
Bad mistakes can happen as a leader but try not to make mistakes like these leaders did.