4 leadership Pitfalls to Avoid on your way to the Top
It’s often said that mistakes provide great learning opportunities. However, it’s much better not to make mistakes in the first place!
In this article, we’re looking at 4 of the most common leadership mistakes which when you learn them you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble!
1. Failure to Define Goals
When your people don’t have clear goals, they muddle through their day. They can’t be productive if they have no idea what they’re working for, or what their work means. They also can’t prioritize their workload effectively, meaning that projects and tasks get completed in the wrong order.
2. Not Providing Feedback
Sarah is a talented sales representative, but she has a habit of answering the phone in an unprofessional manner. Her boss is aware of this, but he’s waiting for her performance review to tell her where she’s going wrong. Unfortunately, until she’s been alerted to the problem, she’ll continue putting off potential customers.
According to 1,400 executives polled by The Ken Blanchard Companies, failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make. When you don’t provide prompt feedback to your people, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to improve their performance.
3. assuming you’re right
A dangerous trap leaders can fall into is thinking their decision-making power means that their way is automatically the right one.
“Oftentimes, leaders assume that because they have the title, that makes them the thought leader,” said Mitchell Levy, author of “Creating Thought Leaders Tweet” and CEO of THiNKaha. “They assume that what they say goes just because they say it, even if they act contrary to that.”
A related mistake leaders often make is to not critically listen to team members. Duggan Cooley, president and CEO of United Way of Pasco County, said leaders are sometimes so driven to get their point across and get the job done that they don’t take the time to hear what others are saying. This can lead to major communication problems within an organization.
To solve these issues, Levy urges leaders to take a step back and let others aggregate, curate and originate ideas both internally among the staff and externally to draw prospects and customers.
“You need to encourage this behavior and allow your team to get credit for their initiatives,” he said.
4. Not Delegating
Some managers don’t delegate, because they feel that no-one apart from themselves can do key jobs properly. This can cause huge problems as work bottlenecks around them, and as they become stressed and burned out.
Delegation does take a lot of effort up-front, and it can be hard to trust your team to do the work correctly. But unless you delegate tasks, you’re never going to have time to focus on the “broader-view” that most leaders and managers are responsible for. What’s more, you’ll fail to develop your people so that they can take the pressure off you.
Leaders who like things done a specific way tend to think they’re the only ones who know how to do certain tasks. With a full schedule and a tremendous to-do list, bosses with the inability to delegate can quickly run out of time to get the really important tasks accomplished.
“The most critical thing you can do as a leader is know yourself and your style of leadership,” Cooley told BusinessNewsDaily. “If you’re overwhelmed, ask yourself if it’s because of [a lack of] delegation. Could you have gotten others involved? Should you have been asking people to get something done or deal with an issue, but didn’t?”