How to Identify BAD Managers who Cause BAD Strategy Execution

Jun 12, 2024
Bad Managers bad Strategy Execution

Strategy execution often fails due to significant shortcomings in the behavior and practices of top managers. These leaders frequently lack organization, systematic approaches, and focus, resulting in messy thinking and communication. Their inability to manage their schedules and control meeting agendas further disrupts effective strategy implementation. Additionally, poor coordination of activities, lack of strategic thinking, and selfish tendencies with hidden agendas exacerbate these issues. When personal gains overshadow company benefits and critical information is withheld, the overall strategy suffers, leading to failure in achieving organizational goals.

Strategy execution is a critical component of organizational success. It involves translating strategic plans into actionable steps that achieve the desired outcomes. However, the execution phase often encounters significant obstacles, primarily due to the inefficiencies and shortcomings of top managers. This article delves into the various ways in which the disorganized, unfocused, and self-serving behaviors of senior leaders hinder effective strategy execution.

Lack of Organization and Systematic Approaches

One of the fundamental issues plaguing strategy execution is the lack of organization among top managers. When leaders are not organized, it manifests in several detrimental ways:

  1. Inefficient Processes: Unorganized leaders often fail to establish clear processes and guidelines for strategy execution. This results in confusion and inconsistency across the organization, making it difficult for employees to understand their roles and responsibilities.
  2. Missed Deadlines: Without systematic approaches, deadlines are frequently missed. This not only delays the execution of the strategy but also diminishes the organization's ability to respond to market changes promptly.
  3. Resource Misallocation: Poor organization leads to inefficient use of resources. Projects may receive inadequate funding or staffing, or conversely, excessive resources may be allocated to low-priority initiatives, undermining the overall strategy.

Lack of Focus and Messy Thinking

Focus is essential for executing complex strategies effectively. Unfortunately, many top managers struggle with maintaining focus, leading to several issues:

  1. Fragmented Efforts: When leaders are not focused, they tend to pursue multiple, often conflicting, initiatives simultaneously. This fragmentation dilutes efforts and prevents the organization from achieving significant progress in any single area.
  2. Unclear Objectives: Messy thinking results in unclear and shifting objectives. Employees are left uncertain about the goals they are working towards, which leads to misalignment and decreased productivity.
  3. Reactive Rather than Proactive: A lack of focus often causes leaders to be reactive rather than proactive. Instead of anticipating challenges and opportunities, they are constantly putting out fires, which hampers strategic progress.

Poor Time and Meeting Management

Effective strategy execution requires disciplined time management and well-structured meetings. However, many top managers fall short in these areas:

  1. Inability to Manage Schedules: Leaders who cannot manage their own schedules set a poor example for the rest of the organization. This results in a culture where time is not respected, and critical tasks are frequently postponed or rushed.
  2. Uncontrolled Meeting Agendas: Meetings with no clear agenda waste valuable time and fail to achieve meaningful outcomes. When top managers cannot control meeting agendas, discussions become unfocused, and decisions are delayed, stalling the execution process.
  3. Overloading on Meetings: Inefficient leaders often rely on excessive meetings as a substitute for proper planning and communication. This not only wastes time but also drains employees' energy and motivation.

Lack of Coordination and Strategic Thinking

Coordination and strategic thinking are vital for aligning efforts across the organization. The absence of these qualities in top managers leads to several problems:

  1. Siloed Operations: Poor coordination results in departments working in isolation, with little collaboration or communication. This siloed approach prevents the organization from leveraging synergies and achieving holistic success.
  2. Inconsistent Messaging: Without strategic thinking, leaders provide inconsistent messages about the organization's direction and priorities. This inconsistency confuses employees and stakeholders, eroding trust and commitment.
  3. Short-term Focus: Leaders lacking strategic vision often prioritize short-term gains over long-term success. This myopic view can undermine the sustainability of the organization's strategy and its ability to compete in the future.

Selfish Tendencies and Hidden Agendas

The personal motivations of top managers can significantly impact strategy execution. Selfish tendencies and hidden agendas are particularly damaging:

  1. Prioritizing Personal Gain: When leaders prioritize their own interests over those of the company, it skews decision-making. Projects and initiatives that benefit individual managers rather than the organization as a whole are favored, leading to misaligned efforts and wasted resources.
  2. Withholding Information: Managers with hidden agendas often hoard information to maintain power and control. This lack of transparency prevents effective collaboration and hinders informed decision-making.
  3. Undermining Team Efforts: Self-serving leaders may undermine team efforts to highlight their own contributions. This creates a toxic work environment where trust and cooperation are eroded, further impeding strategy execution.


The success of strategy execution is heavily dependent on the effectiveness of top managers. When these leaders are disorganized, unfocused, and self-serving, they create a cascade of problems that hinder the organization's ability to achieve its strategic goals. Addressing these leadership shortcomings is crucial for fostering a culture of accountability, collaboration, and strategic alignment. By prioritizing organization, focus, coordination, and transparency, top managers can significantly improve the execution of strategies and drive their organizations toward sustained success.


Dr. Rachad Baroudi - CEO

KPI Mega Library

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