The “Shadow Side” of 11 Leadership Traits

The following chart appears in John O’Neil’s book, The Paradox of Success: A Book of Renewal for Leaders. O’Neil describes what happens when one gets carried away with the following traits:

1 Confidence = Sense of Infallibility
2 Quickness = Overhastiness
3 Sharp Wit = Abrasiveness
4 Alertness = Narrow Focus
5 Dedication = Workaholism
6 Control = Inflexibility
7 Courage = Foolhardiness
8 Perseverance = Resistance to Change
9 Charm = Manipulation
10 Thriftiness = False Economy
11 Commitment = Blind Faith


How many of us have turned our positive leadership characteristics into fools’ gold? Do you ever find yourself so engrossed in achieving something that you reach the other end of the spectrum and begin sacrificing the things that are really important to you (family, relationships, health, etc.)? We slowly drift away from all that we used to take pride in and unhappily find ourselves in a paradox.


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