5 Surprising Things Leaders Avoid

By Ben Tejes

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

To become a better leader, incorporating new attributes and habits is essential. But that is not all that being a leader entails.

It is also about taking time and meditating on your present habits and learning if anything is hindering your leadership.

So let us delve into five eye-opening practices that leaders avoid to be stronger leaders.

1. Depending on Others

The fact that I view myself as a highly-confident individual is both a good and bad thing. While overconfidence has made me fail many times, the same trait has allowed me to persevere.

Confident people crave independence. But independence can limit leadership potential.

What I understood from past experiences is that working with others has helped make me a stronger leader. Collaboration entails assigning duties and working in pursuit of a common objective.

Personally, avoiding being too independent in my life has brought benefits. Being dependent on my team and my family has helped me realize that independence can be a danger to leadership.

2. Getting Out of a Comfort Zone

At one time in the past, I worked at Google. The level of comfort around me was mind-blowing, to say the least. This is because I had just relocated from East Africa (Uganda specifically), where the conditions were not as comfortable. One of the most unforgettable moments was when there was a power outage for several hours. This led me to work on my notepad due to my computer’s battery going flat.

As exciting as the experience of moving was, it made me enter into a level of the comfort zone that was too comfortable that it became uncomfortable.

Too much comfort makes it more challenging when it comes to learning new things and dealing with arising problems. I believe that during this time, I did not grow in my leadership ability.

Leaders should have a mindset that is always open to growth and learning opportunities.

If you view your life as an endless learning stage, then you will understand that comfort zones limit learning and growth. This makes comfort zones your enemy, so you should shake yourself out of your comfort zones and search for opportunities for growth.

3. The Fear of Failing

No one is beyond failing, and in some cases, failing is an integral part of growth and success. When I co-founded Ascend, I must have failed a hundred times in the first year. As Maddi Salmon wrote, “Accept that you probably won’t do everything right.”

In my case, I would confidently create something and inject a lot of engineering capacity into it, only for it to fail to launch.

Luckily, the team I worked with saw the potential and was gracious enough to allow me to find and explore new frontiers in serving our clients.

If you are a leader, it is vital to cut yourself some slack and have some allowance for smart risks and failure. Don’t beat yourself up for failure, and ensure that you convey your failures to the team.

4. Removing Inconsistency

When I finished college, there was so much inconsistency in my life. It reached a point when I was even avoiding some people by screening my calls.

At times, I would set time to speak with my friends and opt out at the eleventh hour. Luckily, my brother-in-law brought this habit to my attention. So I had to improve.

It is crucial to accomplish anything you promise. Relationships are what hold life together. To be a stronger leader, your relationships have to be healthy.

Inconsistency is the enemy of relationships, as it portrays that you cannot be relied upon. This hinders someone from becoming a strong leader.

5. Being Proactive

It is only recently that I understood that I was a reactive person. There was a time when a manager had continuously requested that I shed some light on my work instead of asking about the entire task.

I began to see the benefits of being proactive, which resulted in more leadership opportunities.

What is the connection between being proactive and leadership? Reactive people avoid planning in advance or troubleshooting, and they just let life follow its course.

While on my job, instead of being proactive by looking for what was not working and making it work, I just waited until the work was assigned to me. 

But when I started proactively looking for problems and offering solutions, I made great strides in my work. I also found great satisfaction and fulfillment because I was solving issues that I had found instead of those that were assigned to me.

What Do Leaders Tend to Avoid?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Ben Tejes
Ben Tejes
Ben Tejes is a writer for Ascend that provides resources to help people realize their full potential. In his free time, Ben likes to go on adventures around California with his wife and two daughters.
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