If you have plans of taking up a managerial or executive role in the nearest future, it is very important to be aware of leadership mistakes that can cost you your reputation, profile, and relationship with co-workers and superiors.
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Most times, without doing the necessary study on what leadership is all about, new leaders make so many mistakes that they wish they had never taken up the role of leadership. In this article, we shall review six costly mistakes that are common in leadership, which you must avoid.
Attempting To Lead With A One-Size-Fits-All Approach
One of the costly mistakes you are likely to make in a new managerial role is to assume everyone is equally motivated as you are, or should be motivated as you are. As a new leader, if you aren’t careful, you might step on toes. You might mistake people for being who they are not. The best leaders know what works with each of their subordinates or co-workers. Leadership requires you to know those you lead and understand them on a personal level. Know their weaknesses and strengths, and work with this knowledge.
Attempting To Bring Changes Quickly Or Suddenly
As a new leader, you might be filled with the zeal that you want to change things right away. If you toe towards this direction, everything is bound to backfire. It is absolutely fatal attempting to carry out a rapid wholesale change if you are in a position of authority. People might misinterpret your intentions are dictatorial. The best way to go about this is understanding the workplace culture and dynamics, then carrying out gradual changes with the participation of teammates.
Believing That What Got You Into That Leadership Role Will Keep You There
You might have been promoted to a leadership role due to your brilliant input in the workplace or your success in your field. But it will be foolish of you to think that what got you promoted will guarantee your success in your new role. A new role demands a new you. You might have gotten there as a lone-ranger hardnosed person, but leadership requires an all-new skill such as teamwork, patience, and diplomacy. If you are finding it difficult, you can find a coach or a mentor who will work you through the transition phase.
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Communication is very important in leadership. Even experienced leaders find it difficult to communicate well with their team. Effective communication is a big skill. Sharing good news, bad news, or delegating responsibility to a co-worker or subordinate requires a great depth of skillfulness. Furthermore, it takes a great deal of skill to correct, reprimand and call to order. In all, it requires tact and diplomacy. Great leaders can inspire confidence in their team even in the midst of prevailing challenges. Also, new leaders might fall into the trap of communicating dissatisfaction in a way that shut off their team. In everything, as a new leader, let your communication be seasoned with salt. It is important to engage in honest communication that builds trust and shuts down harmful rumours and gossips.
Leadership is not an avenue to flex your power but for empowering your team. Abuse of power is the most common of leadership abuse. As a new leader, you might fall into the trap of wanting to command respect by being dictatorial, harsh and unnecessarily tough. In this age of democratic wave, being a dictator is unmarketable for your persons and brand. The goal as a new leader is to build a team of followers, not just slaves, who will work under you happily.
Failing To Delegate Effectively
Another trap, which new leaders might fall into, is the inability to delegate properly. There is every tendency you might want to impress by trying to get all the jobs done by yourself. This is a costly mistake you must avoid. Effective leadership lies in effective delegation. Don’t be a micromanager. The implication of not knowing how to delegate effectively is that you will soon find yourself gassing out. Also, you might not know and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of team members. Learn to trust those who have been hired to do their job.
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This article was first published on 7th December 2021