With mounting pressure and competitive tension, you may be seduced into sloppy leadership patterns that can ultimately hurt your business. In these challenging times, thoughtful leadership has never been more important and it is your responsibility to continuously refine your game. Here are seven common traps to avoid:
1. Violate trust. This goes beyond straightforward lying, which should be a fairly obvious point. You can lose all-important team members’ trust by not doing what you say. Don’t make promises you can’t keep – big or small.
2. Be selfish instead of a servant leader. Your goal is to elevate your team and celebrate each person’s victories — not your own. Put employees’ needs before yours and do everything in your power to help them unlock their potential.
3. Lack focus and flip-flop on priorities. Your mission should be simple and straightforward for your team to follow and accomplish. If you’re not clear on goals and a clear-cut, prioritized path to complete them, how should you expect anyone to achieve anything?
4. Be user “unfriendly.” Porcupine bosses fail to get the most from their teams. A soul-crushing, abrasive style will drain your people as well as your bottom line. When you’re a user-friendly leader, you’ll constantly surprise people and leave them with a positive impression, rather than a dogmatic, negative one.
5. Deal in fantasy instead of science. Don’t get me wrong: vision is crucial. You need to have an end goal and believe in it strongly. However, that vision requires execution to make it a reality. You need to track progress obsessively with metrics, so you’re able to make real-time adjustments and tweaks. Without this, you’re just a used-car salesman spinning the wheels of everyone you meet.
6. Lack passion and creativity. If you expect your team members to be evangelical about what you’ve set out to achieve, you need to be a beacon with your passion, bursting from every pore. If you want your team members to think outside the box, why are you coloring inside the lines? Ho-hum leadership will generate equally ho-hum results. Enable your team to unleash their own creativity by setting yours free.
7. Fail to Reinvent. Success can be a terrible teacher, since it lures smart people into doing dumb things. The world is changing at an incredible rate, and you must be changing with it if you want to achieve sustained growth and success. Don’t wait until your company needs a turnaround to reimagine your products, processes, and leadership style
There are many pitfalls along the journey to building a successful organization. Avoid these most egregious offenses, and you’ll be well on your way to reaching the summit.