Michael Hyatt notes that you can learn not only from positive examples but also from negative ones. He cites General George McClellan, who led the Army of the Potomac during a major part of the Civil War. President Lincoln finally relieved him of duty, in large part because of some critical flaws in his leadership style. Among the five flaws Hyatt cites, here are three:

“Hesitating to take definitive action. McClellan constantly was preparing. According to him, the Army was never quite ready. The troops needed a little more training. In his procrastination, he refused to engage the enemy, even when he clearly had the advantage. He could not bring himself to launch an attack. When Lincoln finally relieved him of his duties, he famously said, ‘If Gen. McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time.’

“Complaining about a lack of resources. He constantly complained about the lack of available resources. He didn’t have enough men. His men weren’t paid enough. They didn’t have enough heavy artillery. On and on he went. The truth is that, as a leader, you never have enough resources. You always could use more of one thing or another; but the successful leaders figure out how to get the job done with the resources they have.

“Refusing to take responsibility. McClellan blamed everyone else for his mistakes and for his refusal to act. He also blamed the president. Every time he suffered a defeat or a setback, someone or something was to blame. He was a master finger-pointer. Great leaders don’t do this. They are accountable for the results and accept full responsibility for the outcomes.” (MichaelHyatt.com)

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