Where Leadership Fails and Why. We have all seen this in a Hollywood movie, on a professional team, or at a place of work. Leadership can
fail. What do you think are the major causes or areas of failure? There are probably too many to list here, but
from experience and professional readings, leadership fails employees and the organization within the areas
Where Leadership Fails and Why
Unethical behavior: For example, the Tyco International CEO fraudulently spent the company’s funds.
Failure to establish a vision or vision for change: The Swiss Watch Company ignored the rising
popularity of the quartz watch. In addition, Detroit automotive companies in the 1970s failed to adjust
to high gas prices with better miles-per-gallon automobiles, losing market share to Toyota and Honda.
Incorrect skill sets: This is an inability to deal with people, cultures, and viewpoints.
Failure to listen: An example would be a leader who is arrogant, thinks that or he or she has all of the
answers, and has an unwillingness to listen to his or her staff and employees.
Inability to motivate: An example would be a leader who cannot inspire others.
Selfishness: A leader who puts his or her own needs above those of the employees would fall into
Leadership in the organizational setting: Would you agree that leadership is powerful in the organizational
setting? Could you imagine showing up for work every day not knowing what you are supposed to be doing,
how your job impacts company viability, or who your customers are? What if you had questions regarding
where your company is going and how leadership supports you in meeting both individual job needs and
company goals? The companies that fail today suffer from many of these circumstances.
Look at the wagon wheel below. How is it structured? Where is the failure of the wheel? Look at the wheel as
an organization’s components of people, performance, leadership, vision, and other attributes. This provides
a great schematic of what this lesson is about—leadership as the core cog to effective organizational
performance. The leadership cog affects every spoke and provides support so the wheel can roll and move
forward on the axel. If the center hub breaks, what happens? The spokes cannot provide support for the
organization, and the wheel would break down. Note: One or two spokes can fail, and the mission of the
wheel can still operate but must be repaired for longer, more effective durations.
Leadership wagon wheel
BBA 3451, Organizational Theory and Behavior 5
UNIT x STUDY GUIDE
Deshpande, A., & Hill, C. (2015). Leadership styles: A case of two hospitals in the US. Proceedings for the
Northeast Region Decision Sciences Institute (NEDSI), 1–23. Retrieved from
McShane, S. L., & Von Glinow, M. A. (2018). Organizational behavior: Emerging knowledge, global reality
(8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Momentmal. (2017). Wagon wheel [Image]. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/wooden-wheel-wheelwagon-wheel-2490210/
Sitkin, S. B., Miller, C. C., & See, K. E. (2017). The stretch goal paradox. Harvard Business Review, 95(3), 18.
Straker, D. (2016). Hersey and Blanchard’s approach. Retrieved from