105 Management Mistakes I Have Made or I Have Seen Made by Other Leaders

105 Management Mistakes I Have Made or I Have Seen Made by Other Leaders

  1. When taking over a position, department, project, preaching center, temple, etc., to immediately begin making drastic changes
  2. To play favorites or to speak against or criticize certain sections of devotees
  3. To do or say anything that will instill a lack of trust in a devotee’s spiritual master
  4. To not give devotees facility to offer suggestions and ideas, voice opinions, or express observations in a way that will be given attention and be responded to
  5. To expect devotees to be enthusiastic about a service that you either do not encourage or facilitate
  6. To breach devotees trust in you by not doing something you promised or by lying to them
  7. Not attending all the temple programs (and expecting others to attend)
  8. To have a budget that exceeds your income
  9. To create overheads so large that to maintain the project minimizes the preaching
  10. To not take interest in devotee’s spiritual and material welfare and to not have time to deal with their problems and needs
  11. To make it difficult for devotees to see you
  12. To give devotees very little association
  13. To deny women the same facilities given to the men i.e. to make women second class citizens in your temple
  14. To serve bad, insufficient, or unhealthy prasadam or to serve the wrong type of prasadam for a particular situation or time of day
  15. To allow devotees to live in the temple who are not either fully engaged, exemplary in behavior, or are overly critical of authority
  16. To make plans and not let all the devotees know
  17. To exclude devotees from participating in meetings or sections of meetings where they have special qualifications or experience in the area you are discussing
  18. To not hold regular istagosthi
  19. To not engage the congregation sufficiently, specifically those who are very materially qualified
  20. To always try to do everything yourself or with a few of the same devotees and thus become overextended and overburdened. In other words, to not delegate, empower and train
  21. To make devotees feel they are incompetent or unintelligent
  22. To give a devotee a service, not train them, then expect them to be expert
  23. To not allow a devotees to engage in a service they are qualified to do because you feel they are too young, they haven’t been devotees long enough, they are women or they are from an ethnic group you look down on
  24. To expect devotees to follow you only because of your position without setting a proper example and without developing love and trust
  25. To take advantage of others and to have special facilities that other devotees don’t have.
  26. To expand so quickly that devotees are so overworked and overburdened that they cannot peacefully execute their normal sadhana and hearing and chanting and that you as a manager are in a constant state of anxiety over how everything will go on
  27. To make an effort to make new devotees without creating proper facilities for them
  28. To minimize your sadhana and the time you spend hearing and chanting
  29. To not have regular departmental meetings with all the devotees in the department
  30. To not have clearly set goals and mission statements for the temple and its departments
  31. To not engage devotees in consideration of their ashrams
  32. To not monitor the behavior of devotees who are preaching and distributing books in public
  33. To send a younger devotee to preach at a college or university without an older devotee.
  34. To not train devotees how to appear and behave in public and how to deal with people as proper representatives of ISKCON
  35. To allow people to the Sunday feast i.e people who will make our regular guests feel uncomfortable (these include the homeless who do not bath regularly. Other facilities can be made to give them prasadam).
  36. To not facilitate sufficient hearing and chanting
  37. To be enthusiastic about organizing programs without reference to a mission statement or long range goals i.e. organizing programs that do not help further the objectives of the temple or project
  38. To jeopardize relationships to accomplish service
  39. To not have an evening program
  40. To not have Krsna book and hot milk
  41. To not have regular readings of Nectar of Devotion
  42. To not have a daily thorough cleaning of the temple and ashram (this doesn’t mean only the floors)
  43. To have superfast and wild Sunday Feast kirtans chanted to melodies that are difficult follow and with excessive chanting of mantras other than the maha mantra
  44. To not listen to the suggestions of guests and members.
  45. To not manage through a temple board i.e. to think you know everything and don’t need input from others or to cancel or not hold meetings because you don’t believe in or like meetings
  46. To preach in a way that discourages women, householders, or gurukulis
  47. To regularly be late for meetings and appointments
  48. To regularly and spontaneously change your plans
  49. To not make an effort to create good relationships with your neighbors
  50. To be stubborn
  51. To be inflexible and/or unreasonable
  52. To not properly facilitate book distribution
  53. To not foresee potential problems before they arise
  54. To push programs to make money that are not honest, could jeopardize our reputation, or that burn out devotees
  55. To stress “work now samadhi later” in such a way that it eclipses “purity is the force.”
  56. To have the present gurus’ vyasa-puja celebrations on a grander scale than Srila Prabhupada’s or to minimize or not support their vyas-puja celebrations
  57. To make life members, but not take care of them or to preach only for the purpose of collecting money without interest in the person’s spiritual advancement
  58. To be attached to doing things a certain way only because it is always the way they have been done without considering whether it is actually best, proper, or what Prabhupada really wants
  59. To be conservative when you should be liberal and to be liberal when you should be conservative
  60. To not associate with your leaders in any other environment than work i.e. not eating together, hearing and chanting together, or doing something recreational together
  61. To not allow devotees to evaluate your performance as a leader and suggest ways in which you could improve your service
  62. To not be accountable for spending money
  63. To be spontaneous in your decisions and plans
  64. To regularly start and stop projects
  65. To allow temple devotees to be negligent about following the morning program
  66. To inhibit or minimize the service of qualified devotees in order to maintain more control of the temple or project
  67. To invest a lot time, energy, money and men in a project or temple and then walk out on it in the middle
  68. To establish Deities when there are an insufficient number of brahmanas in the temple.
  69. To allow people to stay in the temple as guests or bhaktas without running a police record on them
  70. To make major decisions based on an unverified assumption
  71. To base important programs or projects on devotees who have not proven themselves reliable, or who are not capable in that area
  72. To have devotees engaged in services they are not suited for
  73. To be negligent in setting all legal matters pertaining to the temple in order
  74. To do anything illegal
  75. To have someone cooking for the devotees who knows nothing about health
  76. To serve prasad that excites sexual desire
  77. To encourage people to live in the temple who would make more advancement living outside
  78. To discourage devotees from going to India
  79. To ignore things that are going wrong because it is too much trouble to correct them.
  80. To not thank or encourage devotees for their special efforts or austerities or to thank some and forget to mention others who worked equally as hard
  81. To not resolve conflicts between devotees working under you, especially when they ask for your help
  82. To make non constructive criticism of devotees behind their back in a loose and casual way
  83. To act on what others say about a devotee without first discussing the suspected problem with the devotee
  84. To delegate another person to communicate something that to a devotee that you should tell that devotee yourself
  85. To utilize your position to take nectar services for yourself to the exclusion of others who are equally or more qualified and who are anxious to render these services. 88. To allow unfit people to move into the temple
  86. To not be selective enough about who gives class (ultra conservative or fanatical preachers) especially when many guests are staying at the temple
  87. To not insure that standard melodies are chanted at the appropriate aratikas
  88. To be closed to new ideas
  89. To not train devotees in Vaisnava etiquette especially in regards to relating to senior devotees
  90. To not invite senior devotees to visit your temple or to invite them but not provide them with the facilities they need or not organize sufficient preaching programs
  91. To not provide facilities for a dedicated temple devotee who can not render service for a prolonged period of time due to illness and/or to make them feel guilty for not being able to do any service
  92. To not observe commitments to devotees that were made by previous leaders
  93. To not clearly inform prospective devotees what is expected of them if they wish to live in the temple
  94. To give more importance to accomplishing the goals of your project than to the well being of devotees
  95. To not assume some responsibility for the causes of devotees leaving ISKCON
  96. To not learn, develop and practice effective communication and relationship skills
  97. To not have the capacity to work well with those you don’t agree with (i.e. to operate under the paradigm that we must sufficiently agree to be able to work together)
  98. To not be able to take complaints, criticism, etc. without either defending oneself or retaliating against those who complained
  99. To need to be right and prove others wrong
  100. To not have a written code of ethics (honor) for your management team (a code the team develops by which they operate)
  101. To make plans or resolutions that will affect a large number of devotees or congregational members without first running those plans by them to see how they respond
  102. To make assumptions (beliefs you have that are not founded on actual proven facts) about individuals and base your actions towards them and opinions of them on those assumptions
  103. To not acquire the skills necessary to run a meeting efficiently
  104. To be resistant to change even when current systems, modalities, strategies, ways of thinking, etc. are not bringing desired results
  105. To believe that since things have always been a certain way that is the only way they can be.

 

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