You want to be the best leader you can. There are a few basic leadership mistakes even the best of the best make. But even if you have had management training and lots of experience, it’s easy to make fundamental mistakes that impact your performance and your team’s ability to deliver.
Here are some of the most common mistakes people can make regarding leadership and what you can do to avoid them.
Failing to Delegate
Micromanaging, being controlling, whatever you call it if a leader can’t delegate, that spells trouble for the whole team. Many leaders feel they need to keep control over every aspect of the project. But you won’t get your best out of your team if you can’t let go and trust them.
Learn the art of delegating, and you will get a lot more achieved and the respect and loyalty of your employees. Good leaders know they don’t need to know everything about the project. Good leaders trust their team to be on top of things. Good leaders set up structures to make sure things stay on track and then let the team get on with doing what they do best. Yes, this one is a biggie and really, not a basic mistake as even the most seasoned leaders fall back into micromanaging approach every once and awhile.
Taking Credit but not Responsibility
Most people have probably sat in meetings and seen their boss take all the credit. Just showing up to collect the accolades is poor leadership. So is blaming their staff when things don’t go so well.
Good leaders share the glory and the blame equally. Remember President Truman’s desk sign that said ‘the buck stops here.’ Take that as your motto.
Not Being a Team Player
Responsible leaders are part of the team. They are there, working back with everyone else when the deadlines are looming. Good leaders earn the respect of their employees by working just as hard, if not harder, than their staff does.
Real leadership is being in the office every day, first one in, last one out. They pitch in and make the coffee and print the slides and help clear up afterward. Simple. Basic. Easy.
Forgetting Leadership is a Job, Not a Title
Sometimes people get into leadership positions and confuse their new job with being a dad from a 50’s sitcom – ‘because I say so’ becomes their motto and their modus operandi. They forget they were ever an employee and fall in love with being the boss.
Good leaders never think that being the boss makes them a better person than the rest of the team. Good leaders care more about doing an excellent job than having their name on the door.