You deserve to enjoy the benefits that come with being a leader. But sometimes it’s difficult to live up to the expectations of yourself and others. The reality is that sometimes you'll make mistakes, we all do.
As a leader, your mistakes can result in losing your successful advantage or negatively impact your reputation. The best strategy is to identify and try to avoid at least the most common mistakes. However, when you do make a mistake, if you use the right strategy to fix it once it happens, recovering from it becomes much easier.
Here are a few common leadership mistakes and how to fix them:
1. Ignoring the opinions of others. You indeed got into that leadership position by displaying admirable traits. Avoid forgetting the support team that helped you along the way. It's important to value the opinions and ideas of those who supported you.
Ask for ideas even when you think they're not needed. As a leader, showing continued belief in the team makes it easier to gain and keep their trust.
Even if an idea isn’t popular or feasible, thank the team members for their input. Remind them that one idea sparks more ideas.
2. Feeling indispensable. Now that you've gotten to the top, it's easy to start feeling indispensable which can lead to arrogance or burnout. Avoid getting into that mode as much as possible. You weren’t the first and you certainly won't be the last person in your position!
Remember how you got there in the first place, often it is due to the support of others.
Pay attention to your performance metrics. What's required for you to maintain your position? What are the key goals that need the most focus? How can you collaborate with others to meet these goals?
3. Lack of communication. Keeping the lines of communication open and encouraging authentic conversation are the best ways to lead effectively. Everyone on your team needs to hear from you.
Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, keep your team members engaged and informed.
Schedule regular meetings with your team. Avoid having meetings only when there's an issue at hand. Team members like to feel connected with what's going on.
Foster an environment where your team members feel comfortable approaching you. Allow them to feel like you want to hear from them.
4. Sidestepping recognition. Remember that your team is as strong as its weakest link. It’s extremely important to recognize the input of each team member. This is the best way to ensure commitment and dedication to you as their leader.
Yes, you enjoy the recognition garnered from leading a successful team. But it's important to share that recognition with the team members as well.
Get to know your team members and how they like to be recognized and provide individual recognition for a job well done.
Use a group forum to recognize the contributions of specific team members. This allows them to feel worthwhile and gain the respect of their peers.
5. Ignoring difficult responsibilities. Leadership isn’t going to be rosy all the time. There are difficulties that you may have to face from time to time. The worst thing you can do is shy away from the tough decisions and responsibilities. Put on a brave face and show why you were chosen to lead them in the first place.
Do you need to reprimand someone? Avoid putting it off. Get right to it and remind the person of your expectations. Your team is watching.
Do you have challenging information to share? Create your message and just do it! Your team will appreciate your transparency.
You were put in that leadership role for a reason. Always keep that reason at the forefront of your mind. Live up to the leadership expectations and do what’s expected, even when it's tough.
If this is your first leadership role, you'll realize it’s a work in progress. No two days are the same. And each experience requires a different approach. Avoid these leadership mistakes and adhere to the fixes. That way, you can adequately equip yourself to lead successfully.
If you want additional support with your leadership journey, let's talk!