Being a leader comes with an array of responsibilities and being under a certain pressure to not make mistakes, as people look up to you. Leaders are often held to high expectations of leading and managing a team of various personalities, which can be highly intimidating for them, creating stress that affects their day-to-day tasks.
Leaders fail to notice some of these mistakes, but they are the root causes of the mismanagement of their team. Here are 7 of the most typical mistakes leaders make:
1. Providing inadequate feedback
One of the most common leadership blunders is to avoid providing feedback to employees. Leaders often overlook this need and thereby rob people of the key to their future. Providing adequate feedback gives employees motivation to learn from their mistakes and accomplishments.
Leaders should prioritize open communication regardless of position. Reiterate this practice at weekly meetings, and follow up with one-to-one feedback using varied vocabulary.
2. Not delegating
Leaders should delegate tasks. Then, post delegation, leaders should follow-up on the advancements of the assigned duties. Leaders commonly make the mistake of walking away with a completely laid-back approach and abandon their people. Good delegation relies upon continued connection and feedback. Employees look to their leaders and expect follow-up keeping them motivated to work harder and strengthen their performance results.
3. Ignoring emotions
The most potent emotions are related to detachment, disappointment, defeat, and loss. Employees seek their leaders out for admiration and motivation, and if the leaders ignore their employee’s emotions they feel unwanted, degrading their work performance. Leaders should acknowledge the difficulties of their employees and motivate them simply by being aware of these emotions and showing interest in this part of a person’s experience.
4. Being too friendly
Many leaders make the mistake of befriending their staff without setting any boundaries in order to get a feeling of being liked. Even though openness is crucial to building relationships, leaders should set clear boundaries to avoid obstacles in communication with their staff. At times, employees take advantage of friendly relationships with their leaders. Leaders are required to make impartial, difficult decisions at times, and that can be challenging if they are over-friendly with their employees. An effective leader has the power to set clear boundaries between being friendly and frank.
5. Taking the credit, not the blame
Sometimes leaders do the opposite of what they can do to stimulate their employees. A frequent complaint from employees is that their leader is the first to take the credit for joint success yet moves the blame down the ladder when things did not go according to plan. Leaders should administer credit where owed, supporting integrity and team ideology. Similarly, when a mistake is made, a leader should take responsibility for it. It allows team members to avoid conflict and persuades them to solve issues appropriately.
Leaders are keen on getting the best they can out of their employees. Meanwhile, during the process, they can start discriminating between their employees and start giving preferential treatment to some more than others. Leaders should avoid such situations as it creates misunderstandings and a feeling of inequity while the team starts feeling insecure thanks to the leader not being appreciative of their hard work.
7. Focusing on overall strategy, not day-to-day tactics
Some leaders tend to focus on the result of their plan rather than the day-to-day activities, which require a sharp focus to accomplish said final results. They tend to underestimate the time and work a behind achievements which creates pressure on the team and hence degrades their performance. They should try to look at both the big and small pictures.
Leadership oversights are inevitable, but those who learn from errors experience growth, and those who don’t often fail.
Sam Patre – A teacher of The Bridge