A good number of people tend to focus on what successful and high performing leaders should do, however, what really haunt leaders on a day-to-day basis is the mistakes that they make. Being a leader isn’t just about the title and most people step into leadership roles before they’re ready, even though sometimes it’s by necessity (in a case where an organization loses a key member and suddenly needs someone to fill the role, so they promote a junior employee to a leadership position). However, when an individual isn’t prepared to be a leader, chances are that he or she would make so many mistakes in the course of being a leader, these mistakes are not made because they are bad people; rather, they are made because of a lack of knowledge, bad habits or too much stress.
In addition, most people are more in love with the idea of being referred to as the leader than they are with nurturing leadership qualities, and they want people to look up to them more than they want to work hard to serve others better, all of these contribute to the mistakes most leaders make while leading others.
Though there is no perfect principle for being a good leader, there are definitely negative leadership characteristics you should avoid as a leader, some of which include:
Underrate the Importance of Communication
The importance of communication cannot be overemphasized, yet many leaders fail to communicate effectively with their subordinates and this is largely because they lack good communication skills. They don’t effectively communicate important messages or worse, they say one thing in a meeting and something else in a company wide email. The result of this act is confusion and chaos because everyone is not on the same page and therefore, cannot work together to achieve a particular goal.
Great leaders are good communicators because they take time to communicate clearly, they also say what they mean and mean what they say.
Handle Conflict Ineffectively
One of the top leadership traits of every successful leader is the ability to handle conflict effectively, however most leaders do not know how to handle and manage conflicts, and this act can block cooperation and alignment around common goals. In addition, it can build up tension, negative emotions and polarization.
It is up to you as a leader to boldly face conflicts when they arise and handle them the appropriate manner, thereby providing a comfortable working environment and build stronger teams as well.
A bad leader believes that expecting perfectionism is a winning strategy for excellence, on the other hand, successful leaders know that expecting a flawless performance every time can destroy teamwork by holding employees to unattainable high standards.
It is important you understand that there are no perfect employees or subordinates anywhere and problems are inevitable, therefore, you should not expect perfectionism from them as well. On the other hand, you should encourage employees to keep learning and growing, and follow a simple work formula, and as a leader, you should stay connected and listen to your team members.
Disregard Advice and Mentorship
There is no perfect leader, however, you still need the advice and close mentoring of successful leaders in your field to guide and put you through certain areas of leadership; however, most leaders make this mistake of rarely seeking the advice of other leaders or see the value in mentorship. They believe they have the answers and they don’t care to share their knowledge while on the other hand, successful leaders understand that mentorship will help gain insight into best practices and deal with day-to-day challenges and stresses. Successful leaders understand the importance of having multiple mentors to rely on, so they can gather differing points of view.
In conclusion, we all make mistakes, and there are certain mistakes made by leaders, that is why it is important that leaders take the time to learn how to recognize and avoid common mistakes that can help you become productive and successful, and highly respected by your team.
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