Most executives and managers we coach have a desire to be promoted and take on more responsibility in their organizations. Some successfully continue to improve and develop their leadership skills, and rise to even higher levels in their organizations. Others struggle with adapting and developing as leaders, are passed over for promotions, and get stuck treading the waters of their career.

Here are 8 of the most common roadblocks preventing leaders from receiving their next promotion.

Refuse to delegate. Leaders who refuse to delegate, and either do the tasks themselves or micromanage others, often do so because they don’t trust that anyone will do the job as well as they can. Successful leaders, however, get bored easily. Once they know how to do a task, they are quick to delegate the task to a team member so they can focus more of their time and energy on strategic tasks and projects that will improve the condition of their team or organization.

Focus on perfection, not success. When leaders are focused on perfection, they are perpetually completing assignments late because, in order to complete the task, it has to be done perfectly. Since very few things in life are ever perfect, it affects their ability to respond to emails, make decisions, or efficiently complete work in a timely manner. Strong leaders know that in order to be successful, they need to be focused on success, rather than perfection.

Operate under an umbrella of arrogance. These managers do not treat others with dignity and respect because they truly believe that they are the smartest person in the room, and no one can live up to their expectations. These managers are disrespectful to others, belittle others’ ideas, and seldom take personal responsibility for their misguided actions. Sadly, these struggling managers don’t realize that almost everyone is smarter than they are when it comes to emotional intelligence (EQ).

Hire weak team members. People who have a hard time getting promoted don’t like to hire brilliant team members who have a stronger skill set than they do. Great leaders are confident, and they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They hire strong, smart team members who challenge them by bringing their talents and skills to the areas where the leader needs greater depth.

Live with poor work-life balance. If you are working 60 to 80 hours a week, you are likely telling people in your organization that you can’t take on additional responsibilities. Great leaders are constantly asking themselves how they can be even more effective in order to maintain a successful work-life balance. When leaders can figure out how to be more effective and efficient, they are ready to assume the additional responsibilities that come with a promotion.

Non-responsive. Managers with a backlog of several hundred unread emails are often guilty of marking the emails they’ve read as unread, and making a mental note to respond later. These managers are quick to tell anyone still waiting on a response that they are in over their head and cannot accept any additional responsibilities….or one more email.

Stop learning. When a manager is in over their head, they struggle to find the time for even the most pressing of day-to-day tasks, and have no time to dedicate to learning. In other words, these managers make a career out of always putting out the most pressing fire that arise.

Roadblock Change. Leaders who find themselves being passed over for promotions often have the bad habit of resisting the implementation of changes that will improve the condition of the team or organization. They are great at making excuses like, “Why fix what isn’t broken?” and “We’ve never done it that way before,” or, “I’m not opposed to change, I just don’t think we are ready for it right now.”

So, did any of these habits ring true? Here’s how you can get back on track for your next promotion.

  • Trust others, and delegate the operational tasks that will free up your time to stay strategic.
  • Focus on success, not perfection, and become even more effective and efficient at getting things done.
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Hire brilliant team members. When you hire strong, smart team members, they make you look even smarter.
  • Balance your life. People want to work for a leader who is both effective and smart enough to get the job done, but still has a personal life.
  • Be responsive.
  • Outlearn everyone. Continuous learners are the most successful at assimilating the new skills and behaviors required for their next promotion.
  • Lead fast change. All our research shows that fast change is easier to implement and accept than change that drags on and on.

No leader is perfect, and we all have habits and behaviors we need to continuously work on. But, if you find yourself getting passed over for a promotion you know you are qualified for, it’s time to take an honest look at the leadership habits that are most likely roadblocking your continued leadership growth and success.