Nobody, least of all those in positions of power, likes to admit they've goofed. So, it may be surprising to learn that more than 1,400 leaders, managers and executives from the nation's top firms recently opened up on the subject of failure - to reveal their views on their most-needed skills and biggest mistakes.An ability to crunch the numbers and meet the bottom line may have played a huge role in putting leaders in the coveted corner office, but the leaders who participated in this survey also have a strong appreciation for the more subtle art of interpersonal relations - an area that also causes them some trouble. 43%, for instance, identified communications skills as the most critical skill set to possess, while 41% said that inappropriate use of communication or listening is the No. 1 mistake leaders make.Interestingly, when asked to identify the five things that leaders most often fail to do when working with others, a high percentage of respondents targeted the same handful of issues:
82% cited failing to provide appropriate feedback, praise or redirection as a personal shortcoming
81% percent weren’t satisfied with their ability to listen or involve others
76% percent said they fail to use a leadership style that is appropriate to the person, task and situation, which then leads to over- or under-supervision
76% percent cited failure to set clear goals and objectives as a problem
And, well over half of the participating leaders acknowledged what many employees already know - that leaders too often fail to train and develop their people.