Know & Avoid the Top 10 Causes of Failure by Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Jan 7, 2014 in Archive, Principles of Success

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! 

To kick off the year, we are going to help you invest for success by continuing our Napoleon Hill series on the Principles of Success.  As we focus this week on Hill’s principle of “Organized Planning”, consider the following: 

  • Have you ever wondered what makes the difference between a plan that fails miserably and one that succeeds? Both seemed like great plans initially, but one just never got off the ground. Why?
  • Are the leaders in charge of such plans ultimately responsible for the success or failure of such endeavors?
  • As an organizational leader, would you recognize key signs of failure before it’s too late?

This week, we will help you answer these questions as we review several of Hill’s “Organized Planning” checklists – specifically those related to leadership.   Be sure to use these checklists to recognize and repair any lacking leadership qualities within yourself as you continue to strive for success in 2014 and beyond!

The Master Mind Group:

First, remember the Master Mind principle?  Well, Hill reminds us once again to leverage the use of this principle to keep our plans on track.  To translate a desire for money into its monetary equivalent, Napoleon Hill taught us:

  1. Ally yourself with a group of as many people as you may need to create and carry out your plan.
  2. Before forming your “Master Mind” alliance, decide what advantages and benefits you will offer people in your group, in return for their cooperation.
  3. Meet with the members at least twice a week, until you have perfected the necessary plan for the accumulation of money.
  4. Maintain harmony within the “Master Mind” group. 

Keep in mind: No person can expect to accumulate significant wealth without experiencing “temporary defeat”.  

“…When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound.  Rebuild those plans and start again…”

“…Often times, we see people who have accumulated great fortunes, but we often recognize only their triumph, overlooking the temporary defeats which they had to surmount before ‘arriving’…

  • James J. Hill met with temporary defeat when he first endeavored to raise the necessary capital to build a railroad from the East to the West, but he, too turned defeat into victory through new plans.
  • Henry Ford met with temporary defeat, not only at the beginning of his automobile career, but after he had gone far toward the top. He created new plans, and went “marching on to financial victory.” – Napoleon Hill

Leadership Attributes: 

Developing certain leadership attributes is a critical key to success…. 

As Hill said, there are basically two types of people:  Leaders and followers, and the difference in compensation is vastIn spite of all the organized planning in the world, one’s ultimate goals may never be realized without employing critical leadership qualities

Let’s take a closer look at Hill’s view of leadership and its importance in achieving success in life.  

Hill’s list of top Leadership Attributes:

  • UNWAVERING COURAGE based upon knowledge of self and one’s own occupation
  • DEFINITENESS OF PLANS – Plan your work and work your plan
  • THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR – and doing more than one’s followers
  • WILLING TO ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY – and does not blame others

 Top 10 Major Causes of Failure in Leadership:

  1. Inability of organize details – No genuine leader is ever “too busy” to do anything which may be required of him in his capacity as a leader.
  2. Unwillingness to render humble service – Leaders are willing to perform any task which they would ask others to do.
  3. Expectation of pay for what they “know” instead of what they do – The world pays for what leaders do or for what they induce others to do.
  4. Fear of competition from followers – It is an eternal truth that people receive more pay for their ability to get others to perform, than they could possibly earn by their own efforts.
  5. Lack of imagination required to meet emergencies, change course, guide followers efficiently.
  6. Selfishness – Great leaders give honor and credit to their followers and claim none for themselves.
  7. Intemperance – Followers do not respect an uncontrolled leader.
  8. Disloyalty – Leaders must demonstrate loyalty to those above and below them.
  9. Emphasis of the “authority” of leadership – The efficient leader leads through encouraging, not by instilling fear.
  10. Emphasis of title – A competent leader requires no special “title” to have the respect of his/her followers.

Note: Any ONE of the above faults is enough to induce failure. 

Top Major Causes of Failure:

Napoleon Hill analyzed several thousand men and women, 98% of whom he classed as “failures”. Hill listed more than 30 major causes of failure in life, which we have narrowed down to 15 for the purposes of this article.

Check yourself by this list, point by point.  How many of these stand between you and success? 

  1. Unfavorable hereditary background (This is the only one that is not easy to correct – and can only be corrected through the help of the “Master Mind” principle.)
  2. Lack of a well-defined purpose (98% of people)
  3. Lack of ambition to aim above mediocrity
  4. Insufficient education (not necessarily college)
  5. Lack of self-discipline – you must control all negative qualities
  6. Procrastination – people always wait for the right time to start.   The time will never be “just right”.  Start where you stand.
  7. Lack of Persistence – people are prone to give up at the first signs of defeat
  8. Negative Personality
  9. Lack of a well-defined power of decision: a.) People who succeed in reaching decisions quickly, but are reluctant to change them, or b.) People who fail to reach decisions, or reach them very slowly, but change them frequently and quickly
  10. One or more of the “Six Basic Fears”; Over-caution
  11. Wrong selection of associates in business
  12. Lack of concentration of effort – the “jack-of-all-trades” is seldom very good at any.   Concentrate on one chief aim.
  13. The lack of enthusiasm – without it, one is not convincing
  14. Intolerance and Inability to cooperate with others
  15. Dishonesty, Egotism and Vanity


  • You should know all of your weaknesses to bridge them – or eliminate them entirely.
  • You should know all of your strengths to call attention to them when selling your services.
  • Take action.  Take inventory of yourself:
    • – Annual self-analysis is essential to increase virtues and decrease faults.
    • – Review this checklist with someone who knows you well at the end of each year.
    • – Create a resulting yearly personal growth objective to be attained as part of your major life objective.  (NOW is a great time to take this step, to start off 2014 on the right track!) 

To achieve boundless opportunities for success, be sure to have an organized plan, and work to constantly strengthen your leadership qualities.  Remain mindful of the top reasons for failure in leadership, and then steer clear of these traps.  Reflect, recognize and repair any such qualities within yourself as you continue to invest in yourself to achieve success in 2014 and beyond.  

Plan to Invest for Success in 2014! 

As an organizational leader, consider ways to ramp up and streamline your sales and marketing efforts quickly this year.  For example: Are you tired of digging around to locate the right decision-maker contacts?  Are you exhausted by the thought of wading through hundreds of trade show leads to find a few qualified prospects?  Well, there IS a better way.  

If you are marketing to the corporate training & HR industry, 2014 is the year to consider a more cost effective approach to locate the decision-maker contacts you seek!

Stop wasting time!  Did you know that Mentor Tech Group has done all the hard work for you?  We specialize in developing highly accurate corporate training and HR decision-maker lists.  Our team of industry experts makes more than 100,000 phone calls each year to bring you highly qualified market intelligence within your target market.  Because MTG’s lists are hand-built and updated every four-months, our lists are simply the BEST in the industry. 

Invest for success in 2014!  

Decision-maker contacts are waiting to hear from you.  Call us today to request more information, and learn about our FREE 4-month list updates


 Happy hunting!

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