Being a leader comes with a huge set of responsibilities. The fast-paced world we live in means quick decisions, handling weighty issues, and recovering from failure quickly. Unfortunately, leaders are constantly on display, so the missteps, errors, or mistakes made in this environment seem to be on display for all to see.
Most great leaders will take the opportunity to learn from a mistake, whether big or small. So let’s take this chance to run down the most common leadership mistakes and how to learn from each.
One of the most common leadership blunders made is in regards to delegating. Good leaders are able to assess the skill and ability of those around him/her. For some leaders, lack of delegating altogether can create a situation where they are overwhelmed with work and fall behind. In other circumstances, mistakes can be made by delegating to the wrong person. For example, asking an employee with no experience to run a meeting or take on a role they are ill-prepared for.
Avoid delegating mistakes by understanding the interests and skills of the people you work closely with. Trust in those skills instead of taking on tasks that will weigh you down and cause a slow down in your business.
This common error by leaders usually has something to do with a failure in both speaking and listening. Good leaders can do both well. Be sure to follow up with assignments to make sure your employees are understanding your instructions. Give good feedback at varying points of the project and be sure to listen to concerns from the people doing the work.
Make it a priority to be clear and concise in your instructions, follow up, and create check-ins so that if an employee is misunderstanding your assignment, you can catch it before it goes too far. Regular meetings to get updates on the project can help clear up any communication confusion.
While every leader has a different management style, there are two common errors when going from one end of the spectrum or the other. The styles I am referring to are the micromanager or the hands-off manager. Neither one proves to be very successful.
On one hand, if a leader practices micromanagement then you may be showing employees or team members that you don’t trust their skills or abilities to get the assignment done without peering over his/her shoulder. On the other hand, being too hands-off means that a leader failed to conduct regular check-ins to be sure the project is headed in the right direction. The goal of a good leader is to find a balance between the two.
If you are looking to fine tune your leadership skills, check out our workshop on Introduction to Supervision on January 31, 2020 @ 8:30 am – 3:00 pm.