10 Major Causes of Failure in Leadership by Napoleon Hill

failure in leadership bad leader

Napoleon Hill in his book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ [Chapter 7: Organized Planning] has defined ten major causes for the failure in leadership. He compiled it by interviewing many successful people in 1900’s era. It took him more than 20 years of research to realize what it takes to become a successful person. Get rid of these qualities if you want to become a true leader.

10 causes of failure in leadership

Inability to organize details

A successful leader must be ready to give sufficient time when it comes to changing of plans. No leader can be too busy to do his own work. He must master the art of managing the work with the time available.


Unwillingness to render humble service

A successful leader must be humble and willing to serve when the situation demands. He must be true to his followers.



Thinking doesn’t improve situation but actions do. A leader who expects to grow just by thinking is destined to be doomed. A true leader never hesitate to take action if it is necessary.


Fear of competition

A true leader embraces competition from his followers. A leader who is fears competition will soon meet the failure. For an efficient leader fear is just an illusion.


Lack of imagination

Imagination is the source of all wonders. A leader who lack imagination won’t be able to hold his position for long. Imagination is necessary for a leader to bring in new ideas and concepts.



A true leader is one who leads his followers. But a person who thinks only of himself will not survive far in his path. A leader who is greedy and takes all pride and honor for himself for the work of his followers will go no further in this path.



Being calm and patient is one of the true qualities of a leader. A person who has no patience and is easily frustrated doesn’t quality to be a honest leader. Intemperance destroys charisma of a leader.



Trust is hard earned respect for any leader and it is very essential to gain mass followers’ trust. Once a leader loses trust of his followers then it is almost impossible to gain it back.


Emphasis of the authority of leadership

A leader has power and with power there comes important responsibilities. A true leader uses his power for the greater good. A leader who abuses his power to force and induce fear is destined to lose his followers.


Emphasis of title

A real leader requires no title to earn respect. A true leader concentrates on his work rather than the titles. A leader who is obsessed on his titles has less to offer to his followers.