Top Ten Executive Mistakes

Want to feel old? Sixteen years ago today, 30 August 1993, The Late Show with David Letterman premiered on CBS. Where has the time gone?

Letterman, for most people, is synonymous with his 'Top Ten List.' It's such a part of our culture that The Top Ten List even has its own Wikipedia entry. Fun trivia, you're thinking, but how does this relate to executives?

Executives and lists have a long history together. Business leaders love to make lists, they hand out lists, they read lists. Lists are popular with everybody. You can't pick up a leading newspaper without finding a list of something. Everybody does lists: Business Week, Newsweek and dozens of other business journals, and Forbes has lists that go far beyond the top ten. They trump everybody with their list of the Top 100.

So, in honor of Letterman's anniversary, here is The CXO Mindset's List of the Top Ten Ways to Get Kicked Out of the C-Suite:

The Top Ten Executive Mistakes

Mistake Number 1: Talk too much and don't actively listen to your team's concerns.

Mistake Number 2: Don't take responsibility when you've messed up.

Mistake Number 3: Have lots of ideas, but don't execute on any of them.

Mistake Number 4: Think you can do it all, and don't delegate power and responsibility.

Mistake Number 5: Give presentations that have no inspiration or vision.

Mistake Number 6: Think that what got you into the C-suite will keep you in the C-suite.

Mistake Number 7: Rely on people you like vs. people with skills.

Mistake Number 8: Don't communicate to your staff on a regular basis.

Mistake Number 9: Stay isolated from the "shop floor."

Mistake Number 10: Do not "give back" to all the people who helped you get into that C-suite office.