Why Leaders Fail and the Seven Prescriptions for Success

By Peter Stark Principal, Peter Barron Stark Companies | March 19, 2017

Co-authored by Commander Mary C. Kelly, US Navy, PHD, CSP

Good people work hard to secure good jobs, and then they work hard to get promoted into increased positions of authority and responsibility. Sadly, once in those leadership positions, good people often fail. Why?

The defining factor of a strong leader is rooted in the relationships they build with their team members and how effectively they propel the organization toward great achievement. Becoming a great leader and earning relationships with people who are motivated to follow you for long periods of time is hard work. If it were easy, there would be an abundance of great leaders, all companies would flourish, and all employees would be excited to come to work.

We find an abundance of supervisors, military personnel, managers, vice presidents, and CEOs within organizations with positions of authority. These managers have titles that allow them to tell others what to do. Ideally, they put the right people on the bus and align the organizational structure to effectively meet the goals. Yet, many managers successfully accomplish routine tasks and produce results for their organization, but they fail to become truly effective and inspiring leaders.

Why do so many excellent people struggle once they are promoted? Our latest book, Why Leaders Fail and the 7 Prescriptions for Success analyzes thousands of employees and their leaders and what leaders need to do to be successful.

What can we do to ward against failure? How can we be more effective leaders?

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The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.