How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Leadership Mistakes

Being a leader generally means the day-to-day work of managing people and relationships, ensuring teams perform well and being involved in creating a positive work environment. However, whether you are the boss of a big team, the manager of a smaller team, or simply taking the lead on a particular project, you are at risk of falling trap to the five most common leadership mistakes.

1. NOT DELEGATING ENOUGH

This is a common pitfall for leaders - especially newer ones; a leader feels that

his team cannot do a particular task as quickly or as well as he can, so he/she

avoids delegating. Even if the leader’s time could be better spent on something

more important, he doesn’t want the task done by someone else if the quality will

suffer - even by a small margin. By avoiding or failing to delegate, you become a bottleneck to getting things done, which results in frustrated team members and missed opportunities. Imagine your staff waiting a few days for you to finally finish a report before they can move forward with the rest of the project, when they could have easily done the report themselves.


HOW TO AVOID IT:

As a leader, give up the urge to do everything yourself; instead focus your time and energy on the bigger picture. Your job is to do the things that only you can do, and let your team take care of everything else. It’s not always easy to delegate, but it’s absolutely necessary for the growth of your team.


2. NOT ASKING FOR FEEDBACK AND IDEAS

Good leaders are good at giving feedback; great leaders are good at asking for it. Even though we know that two-way communication is important for good leadership, we often neglect to provide a system for receiving feedback and constructive criticism. Getting feedback from your team can help you stay ahead of trends and take advantage of opportunities as they come up. Leaders also trap themselves in being the sole thinkers in the team/organization, or they only listen to their own ideas. But most of the time, the best ideas come from collaborative thinking and from those closest to the task-i.e. employees.


HOW TO AVOID IT:

Make sure to encourage feedback from your employees or team members and listen attentively to what they have to say. Spend time listening to your people and reward them when they come up with good ideas, who knows? Maybe your team will come up with the next ‘Big Mac’!


3. NOT VALUING YOUR PEOPLE

It's easy to take for granted the people who work for you. It takes time, effort (and sometimes money) to invest in relationships, and you may feel like your resources could be better spent elsewhere. Unfortunately, this ignores the reality that as a leader, the people on your team are your biggest asset.


HOW TO AVOID IT:

There’s a saying that goes, “If you can make people around you successful, then you will be successful too.” By valuing every single employee or team member, you are investing in your personal and organizational success. Make your people feel like an important part of the organization by allowing them to share successes, be it through stock options or other forms of rewards.


4. NOT ROLLING YOUR SLEEVES UP

Although your ‘job description’ as a leader or manager is necessarily different from people working under you, you should be careful not to lose perspective about the day-to-day work of your team. It’s hard to understand what your staff or team members are going through unless you occasionally join them in the work they’re doing. General George S. Patton famously said, “No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.”In other words, great leaders aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.


HOW TO AVOID IT:

Periodically join your team ‘in the field’ to better understand their strengths and challenges. In addition to gaining respect from your team by demonstrating you are not above working with them, you will find yourself better equipped to make organizational decisions.


5. NOT HAVING A BIG ENOUGH VISION

Between thinking too big and not thinking big enough, most of us tend towards the latter. Whether it’s fear of failure, or simply not taking the time to think about it, it’s important to realize when we’re short-selling ourselves with a weak vision of the future. Although it might seem counterintuitive, bigger dreams may actually be easier to achieve than mediocre ones because a grand vision inspires other people to help you. As Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”


HOW TO AVOID IT:

Having a grand vision and learning to articulate it is important. People don’t just follow a leader, they follow a vision as well.

Is your vision for your organization big enough to capture the hearts of your team? If the grandness of your vision doesn’t scare you a little bit, you might need to dream a little bigger!

For any media inquiries, please contact:

Tel: +2 011-1836-1836

17 Road 210, Degla, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.

© 2018 by Evolve Magazine