Six Common Mistakes in Leadership
Carrying a blind spot:
Being self-aware is different from being self-confident; it is more to do with being critical about self and evaluating just as we evaluate others; may be evaluating self even before judging others.
When some feedback is given, instead of using it to enhance self-awareness, some leaders start witch-hunting the person who gave that feedback. Improve the readiness to feedback and personal change; if it is not there, leaders will end up with a bigger blind portion inside themselves.
Undermining own team members:
To say that the team is not capable of performing is nothing to be proud of. Some team leaders engage in ‘casual’ conversations about their team members’ mistakes or poor performance with their peer leaders. Do we undermine our own team members?
Glory of a leader comes from the way his/her team develops because of the coaching from the leader - not from the individual brilliance of the leader. Focus on lifting ordinary people into delivering some good performance; be positive towards the team.
Poor focus on sustaining credibility:
Leader’s credibility is essential to earn acceptance from team members. Past achievements would have helped the leader to be where he or she is; however, if credibility is not renewed, it cannot be sustained. When a leader lacks credibility, such leadership will be imposed onto the team and not necessarily accepted by the team!
Leaders are under constant scrutiny by the team members; what you do, what you don’t do, what you learn, what you don’t learn, how you carry yourself and what example you are setting is being closely watched by many eyes. Realize it and sustain the leadership behaviors that will help renew your credibility!
Delegating & catching them doing wrong:
Delegation is not being hands-off and allowing the team to make mistakes and then catching them doing wrong. It is also not assigning them a task and prescribing every step of how to do it.
It is more to do with allowing them to perform and at the same time keeping the dialogue on to utilize every ‘teachable moment’ to help them correct instead of getting frustrated with the mistakes. Throw a challenge and help them grow tall. Use delegation as a tool to coach and nurture your team!
Blowing hot; blowing cold:
Sometimes leaders say, “I am having a bad day; don’t disturb me”; “I am going through high pressure; I may miss out on something”. Another day they may be at their best. And they expect others to understand their mood swings. When the same thing happens with team members, are these leaders empathetic? May not be.
Emotions play a huge role in leadership. Managing your own emotions and understanding others’ emotions is crucial. Be more patient in understanding others; realize how your boss might be dealing with your mood swings. Being impulsive, shooting off words, showing temper speaks of poor emotional balance. It may disengage the team from you!
Not keeping strategic openness:
When you are making statements or suggestions, keep an option for discussion. Even when you feel strongly, if you make a statement that sounds like FINAL, it closes the chance of any dialogue.
Better option would be to state what you have in mind and keep a habit of asking at the end “What do you think?”, “Can we do this?”, “Will it work?”. It gets you better buy-in. Try it!
I will be sharing some more perspectives on these six mistakes in my future blogs/podcasts. Meanwhile, please do write to me (contact details at the bottom of the page) with your perspectives, views or any other mistakes that are important to include. Let us learn together!