Saturday, January 28, 2017

How to Solve 5 Common Leadership Mistakes

Leadership can be difficult, and for inexperienced leaders, it can lead to failure.  We promote our best salesperson, engineer, accountant, etc. to a leadership role and many of them fail.  Why do they fail and what can we learn from the mistakes made?  Below are 5 key leadership mistakes.

1.  Doing everything yourself.

One of the biggest mistakes new managers/leaders make is trying to keep doing their previous job and the jobs of the people on their team.
Avoid this pitfall by learning to let go and training, coaching, delegating and empowering your people (in that order).


2. Not providing feedback or balanced feedback.

Leaders are there to give feedback.  That is a huge part of the job.  On a basic level, leaders need to provide positive and points of improvement feedback. 

When giving feedback always start with the positive and then move to points of improvement (not negative) feedback.  Negative feedback focuses on the past (you did this wrong).  Points of improvement, focuses on the future (you can do this better tomorrow) and helps the person improve.  Start by asking, “What did you do well?” and then “What can you improve?” in that order.  The order is key.  Always, always start with the positive.

3.  Not being clear on purpose and vision.

Without a purpose you lack a clear end-point and do not answer the key question “Why?”  Start by saying, the purpose or “why” of our work is… 

Some examples of specific purposes are:  “We are here to wow customers”, “”We believe simple is better” or “We save lives”.


After having a clear purpose, define the vision for that purpose.  The vision is a picture of the purpose that is more specific (you should be able to make a poster of the vision).  In the examples above visions could be “We wow customers with attention to detail”, “We keep it simple by keeping it short and easy to undersatnd” or “We fight for the best patient result”.

4. Lacking clear goals.

We are not natural goal setters.  We do not write our goals down and usually do not make them “”SMART”.
Make sure you work on goals top/down and bottom/up, write them down, and make them SMART - Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.  Make sure everyone knows the goals and you review results frequently.  Praise the effort often and it will better guarantee the result.

5. Being rude and impersonal.

As people rise in companies some leaders tend to get more arrogant.  They bark orders, treat people poorly and withdraw and get impersonal.  Do not do this. 

Get to know your people and show them you care about them and their families.  Send personal notes, involve yourself in getting to know their hopes and dreams and most important, treat them well (they are your most important concern).


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