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Three Leadership Traps to Avoid

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Developing a Lean Culture (46-slide PowerPoint presentation). This presentation has 46 slides and consists of: * What is culture and definitions * What is organisational culture? * How to develop OC * Leaders & Leadership * Great leaders strategies * Developing a culture statement * Employee engagement * Organisational alignment Also included with [read more]

Also, if you are interested in becoming an expert on Organizational Culture (OC), take a look at Flevy's Organizational Culture (OC) Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.

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Editor’s Note:  The author Curtis Chocholous, a seasoned executive and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, has written a whitepaper on The 80/20 Law of Leadership, which is available for free on Flevy here.  This whitepaper is based on Lean Culture thinking.  

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bear-trap-413397_960_720Rick Warren’s #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life, begins Chapter 1 with the statement, “It’s not about you.”

A brutally honest leader knows that self-leadership is public enemy number one. Trustworthy leaders demonstrate their wisdom by keeping their personal behavior alarm set on MA (Maximum Accountability). This is true in both their public and private worlds because there’s no hiding place in either venue.

Dr. Henry Cloud, in his book titled Boundaries for Leaders, writes about leadership in terms of physics. He states, “the higher you go in leadership, the fewer external forces act upon you and dictate your focus, energy and direction. Instead, you set the terms of engagement and direct your own path, with only the reality of results to push against you.” Therefore, if the organization you lead is greatly depending on you, there is great wisdom in implementing a Leadership Management System that places leadership boundaries around you to protect yourself and those you lead.

Great leaders know that building integrity of character is a never-ending life-long journey that must ever-increase in transparency. It is on this narrow path that they develop an awareness of three adversaries that require their constant vigilance to effectively confront and battle, namely: Control, Significance and Comfort.


If you think you’re in control, think again and avoid any delusion. Don’t be deceived by the alluring idea that you will somehow alone gain and maintain a mastery of influence in the spheres of life. Learn to be humble, or be humbled. There is wisdom in many virtuous counselors. Be mindful of the fact that you are always only one step away from stumbling.


Remember, it’s not about you. Be ‘others’ focused and you’re apt to experience and understand real significance. Abide in the Golden Rule, “Treat others as you would like to be treated” and you’ll discover what it’s like to live life at its best.


Helen Keller said it well, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”   There’s little human comfort in mining the raw gifts and pure potential that exist deep inside each of us. Nothing truly noble, worthwhile and fruitful is ever achieved with ease and comfort.

Avoiding these three traps means ignoring the detours and taking the road less traveled.

5-page Word document
This checklist has 48 questions which you can rate on a 1 to 5 scale to understand the current culture of your organisation and set goals for improvement. It focuses on the following: Purpose, Values, Urgency, Trust, Competence, Customer Focus,Systems, Structure, Score Keeping and [read more]

Want to Achieve Excellence in Organizational Culture (OC)?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Organizational Culture (OC). Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

Organizational Culture, also referred to as Corporate Culture or Company Culture, is the set of underlying and shared beliefs, vision, assumptions, values, habits, business philosophies, and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of the organization.

Organizational Culture permeates the organization, affecting all functions and all levels. It starts with what employees do and how they do it—and ultimately drives why employees do what they do. Culture is like the DNA of the organization.

That is why a healthy Company Culture leads to strong Performance, Growth, and Excellence—and the opposite is also true. For any initiative to be successful, we need a Corporate Culture that inherently supports that initiative.

Learn about our Organizational Culture (OC) Best Practice Frameworks here.

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About Curtis Chocholous

Curtis Chocholous is the Founder of Pulse, Business Dashboards & Management Process. After his three-decade career across multiple industries responsible for plant management, supply chain and continuous improvement, Mr. Chocholous decided it was time for a change and charted a new course to strengthen entrepreneurial companies. He believes that an organization’s culture, much like family culture, should be invested in daily to ensure healthy, productive and prosperous growth. Curtis currently resides in Springboro, Ohio with his wife Laurie. You can download his free whitepaper on the 80/20 Law of Leadership on Flevy here.


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