There are leadership mistakes that we make on a regular basis.
There are also umpteen posts out there extolling the virtues of good leaders, what leadership skills are, and how to instill them.
But, leaders are also people. They are prone to make mistakes. When a leader makes a mistake, it automatically gets magnified tenfold.
There are people who will scrutinize every move and, as a leader, your team will look up to you. That is a huge responsibility in itself.
Great leaders are not made by mimicking other leaders. Of course, you can take inspiration from them. But remember, they were in different situations than you. Employing their solutions and methods may not go well with the problem at hand.
Being a good leader is a challenge in itself. It is, thus, better to be aware of the potential mistakes one can make while leading people.
Here are are 7 mistakes leaders commonly make:
1. Being Invisible
What if your boss was rarely around? What if all your interactions with them were limited to the email and text messages and phone calls? Would you not feel neglected and harbor negativity?
Well, that’s the case with everybody.
If you are leading a team, it’ll help to be around. Take personal interest in the work that your team is doing. Don’t limit communication to electronic mediums. Personal interactions make your team feel special and cherished.
It’s great to have an open door policy. Tell your team members that they can walk in whenever they feel like, without hesitation. Don’t just let it be a policy for the books.
2. Changing Targets Often
Once you have set targets and goals for a quarter or a month, stick to them. If you change targets often, for reasons that are not so serious, your team will not trust you. You will lose their respect and confidence.
Change is inevitable. But don’t change what does not really need to be changed. When you see that targets, performances, and something critical will be affected if changes are not made, only then go ahead. Otherwise, remember: Don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken!
3. Asking Your Team to Follow Orders
Ordering others around is not the way a good leader works – instead you are being a manager.
If you want your team to come early, be in office before they come in. Don’t just tell them to come to office early. Lead by example.
If you tell them to do something that you won’t do yourself, it will not hold much water with your team. And it’ll make you look like a snob.
4. Asking a Fish to Climb a Tree
As a leader, you must be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of every member of your team.
You’ll have to delegate work accordingly. Don’t assign any member work that they won’t be able to do. Instead of showing him to be incompetent, it’ll throw a question mark on your abilities as a leader.
By assigning the right work to the right person, you’ll have enhanced productivity and performance.
If you don’t know the strengths and weaknesses of the people in your team, you’ll end up recruiting more or less people than required. Get to know everyone and build relationships with them.
5. Focusing on Yourself
If you put yourself before your team, you’ll not last long as a leader. You are a leader because of your team. Had your team not been there, you would not have anyone to lead.
Remember that all the accomplishments are because your team put in hard work along with you.
To be an effective leader, you should always share accomplishments with your team and be ready to take the blame in case of failures.
When your team sees that their work is being acknowledged and appreciated, they’ll work harder and try to deliver better results.
6. Blowing Up
There will be people in your team who will drive you up the wall. There will be those who are difficult to lead. But that is why you are a leader and not them.
You should know how to handle the most difficult team member. If you blow your fuse at the drop of a hat, you’ll only waste a lot of energy yelling and being angry. Nothing good will come out of it.
You need to learn to control your temper and solve a problem with a calm mind. A calm mind comes up with brilliant solutions that an angry mind can never even think of.
7. Being a Boss
Never, ever act like a boss. Make your team feel that you are one of them. However, ensure they know their boundaries. Don’t tell them that you are right because you are their boss. Accept your mistakes openly. This will only make them respect you more.
A humble person is respected far more than one with an attitude.
A leader is as a leader does. Remember you are a person who is working with people, not robots, and you’ll do just fine!
How Can You Avoid Making Mistakes?
If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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