Leadership is an ongoing responsibility, not just a title. Nobody is perfect, and It’s inevitable that even the strongest leaders will trip up from time to time. To be a truly great leader, you will see these mistakes as learning opportunities so that you improve your skills and your organization.
In part two of our three-part series, we explore the most common mistakes made by the even the best leaders and how to avoid them.
Some leaders possess an attitude akin to the “Great and
Powerful Oz.” That’s the biggest mistake any leader can make. Hiding behind your office door and sending instructions and orders via email or Instant Message is not good practice. Effective leaders acknowledge successes and challenges, solve problems and offer encouragement.
Maintaining all of the power can create a real imbalance at any organization. Try releasing some of the power to the team. It will foster teamwork and communication and will empower others to make decisions. The best leaders delegate and oversee the completion of tasks and projects.
Having a vision is key. Great leaders have a plan for both themselves and their team and effectively communicate the reasoning for their vision to their team. This vision may require stepping out of the comfort zone and taking some risks. Great leaders realize this and embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grown.
An inability to see things clearly has negative consequences. It can breed complacency and discontent within a team. Leaders need to be keenly aware of team dynamics. If a team member looses enthusiasm, becomes burnt out, needs to change responsibilities or move to a new group the leader needs to take action. Being in denial of these or other pressing issues can put employee satisfaction and retention at risk.
Leaders need to reinvest in themselves. Leadership can be challenging and draining. When a great leader doesn’t take time to recharge their personal and professional batteries, everyone suffers.
What’s the best way to recharge those batteries? Leaders should utilize their vacation for time away from the office and attend workshops in person or online. Being at the top can be lonely. Spending time with others who share similar responsibilities is vital. The greatest leaders learn from each other by sharing challenges and frustrations. Through this process, they gain insight and learn new strategies that will benefit themselves and their teams.
In the last of our three-part series, we will explore best practices of great leaders.