The 11 reasons why business leaders fail

A list of reasons why business leaders fail has been put together by Hogan Assessment, a company which specialises in personality assessment and consulting.

This list has been put together following research which stated that 52 per cent of employees identifies their boss as their main source of job dissatisfaction.

Hogan Assessments have given 11 reasons why leaders fail:

  • Excitable- Excitable leaders tend to be highly emotive and so tend to express their frustration with people and projects when things do not go according to plan. This can create an unsettling workplace atmosphere, where employees find it hard to speak to their manager without upsetting him or her.
  • Skeptical- Leaders who score highly on this scale tend to be distrustful of others and believe they will be stabbed in the back by others. This leads to managers finding it hard to gain anyone else’s trust either.
  • Cautious- These types of leaders are in constant fear of making a mistake. They operate with the worst-case scenario in mind. Due to this, they are reluctant to try new approaches or to make decisions about any real consequences.
  • Reserved- These types of leaders tend to lock themselves away and keep face-to-face time a minimum. They are often seen as cold and are less sympathetic to other people’s problems.
  • Leisurely- These types of leaders are liked due to politeness and their ability to lead a team. However, when people work closely with them they find that these leaders are not very productive and react to by trying to avoid and deflect responsibility.
  • Bold- Bold leaders refuse to acknowledge or take accountability for their mistakes and failures, mainly due to fear of losing face resulting in the blame falling on employees. These individuals take credit for major wins and are bad at recognising and rewarding hard work from their team. 
  • Mischievous- These leaders sometimes lack consideration for their workers, who put in the groundwork that set them up for success.
  • Colourful- Colourful leaders enjoy the fame and attention these projects bring, which can work against their favour. Employees often find these leaders chaotic and erratic to work with and will have to deal with poor organisation and indecisiveness. 
  • Imaginative- They tend to view very simple problems as very complex and become easily bored. Their employees view them as unfocused and impractical.
  • Diligent- Diligent individuals are perfectionists and have a hard time delegating work efficiently among their staff. As a result, they tend to complete most tasks themselves, taking on more than they can manage which hinders quality and turnaround.
  • Dutiful- They tend to rely too heavily on their team hoping that they will carry the project through to completion without taking any real responsibility.


Hogan Assessments believes if leaders avoid these 11 traits it can help them foster stronger working relationships with their employees.






Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.