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Five Common Leadership Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Jan 20, 2016 | Leadership

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Regardless of your experience, being a leader is never easy. Not every decision you make will be a good one, but they say the best way to learn is from your own mistakes.

That said, there are some mistakes you can avoid. You can be a better leader by avoiding these common leadership mistakes.

Five Common Leadership Mistakes to Avoid

Not Delegating

This is one of the most common leadership mistakes to avoid. It’s critical to learn how to effectively delegate; the earlier in your leadership career you learn this, the better off you’ll be.

Before acting on the task at hand, take a step back and ask yourself if one of your employees can do it.

Becoming effective at delegating earns you more time to focus on growing your business, on managing your team, and on your own personal development.

Lack of Vision

No matter how good you are at what you do, a vision and a mission motivate people.

Find the “why” behind your work, share it with your team and get them excited about working towards the larger goal.

People are driven by a mission bigger than themselves. Make your team part of your vision, tell them how important they are for you and for fulfilling that vision. They will work harder and better because of it.

Not Making Time for Your Team

In today’s world, we are all busy. You go from one meeting to another, and when you come back at your office, an endless list of to-dos is waiting for you.

Regardless of how busy you are, make time for your team. Keep in mind you wouldn’t be where you are without them.

Make a habit of regularly meeting with your key-people. For those you don’t meet one-on-one with, make it a point to walk through your company to make time to thank your best performers for their job. You will see an increase in productivity and loyalty towards you and your company.

Lack of Feedback

Probably one of the biggest and—at the same time—most common leadership mistakes, a lack of feedback can directly affect morale.

You can’t expect people to improve their behavior at work or their performance on the job if you don’t give them prompt feedback. If you want to see fast improvements in your team and their daily jobs, speak to them immediately if you see something that should change. This goes for both positive and negative feedback. People need both, but it should happen in real-time, not at annual review time.

Be there for them, offer feedback and help them grow. They will be very grateful to you, and feel invested to do more.

Not Setting Goals

You can’t go forward if don’t know where you’re going.

Goals give your employees direction and purpose. It also gives them focus for reaching those goals. Work with your team to set goals and check in on them regularly.

Help your team when they are behind and praise them when goals are exceeded.

These are some of the most common leadership mistakes I’ve seen. What would you add?

Image Credit: Shutterstock


Want to know more about being brief? Check out The Brief Practitioner, an online course from The Brief Lab that teaches executives how to avoid information overload and become lean, effective leaders and communicators.


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