10 Common Leadership and Management Mistakes
The most common leadership and management errors are:
Not Providing Feedback
Companies failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make. When you don’t provide prompt feedback to your people, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to improve their performance.
Not Making Time for Your Team
Your people must come first – without you being available when they need you, your people won’t know what to do, and they won’t have the support and guidance that they need to meet their objectives. Be more aware of your team and their needs, and have a regular time when “your door is always open”, so that your people know when they can get your help.
Being Too “Hands-Off”
One of your team has just completed an important project. The problem is that he misunderstood the project’s specification, and you didn’t stay in touch with him as he was working on it. Now, he’s completed the project in the wrong way, and you’re faced with explaining this to an angry client. Avoid this by getting the right balance.
Being Too Friendly
Sometimes leaders and managers have to make tough decisions regarding people in your team, and some people will be tempted to take advantage of your relationship if you’re too friendly with them. This doesn’t mean that you can’t socialize with your people. But, you do need to get the balance right between being a friend and being the boss.
Failing to Define Goals
When your people don’t have clear goals, they muddle through their day. They also can’t prioritize their workload effectively, meaning that projects and tasks get completed in the wrong order.
Many leaders make the mistake of assuming that their team is only working for monetary reward. However, it’s unlikely that this will be the only thing that motivates them, they might be motivated by telecommuting days or flexible working. Others will be motivated by factors such as achievement, extra responsibility, praise, or a sense of camaraderie.
Hurrying recruitment can lead to recruiting the wrong people for your team: people who are uncooperative, ineffective or unproductive. With the wrong person, you’ll have wasted valuable time and resources if things don’t work out and they leave. What’s worse, other team members will be stressed and frustrated by having to “carry” the under-performer.
Not “Walking the Walk”
As a leader, you need to be a role model for your team. This means that if they need to stay late, you should also stay late to help them. The same goes for your attitude – if you’re negative some of the time, you can’t expect your people not to be negative.
Some managers don’t delegate, because they feel that no-one apart from themselves can do key jobs properly. This can cause huge problems as work bottlenecks around them, and as they become stressed and burned out. Unless you delegate tasks, you’re never going to have time to focus on the “broader-view” that most leaders and managers are responsible for.
Misunderstanding Your Role
Once you become a leader or manager, your responsibilities are very different from those you had before. However, it’s easy to forget that your job has changed, and that you now have to use a different set of skills to be effective. This leads to you not doing what you’ve been hired to do – leading and managing.
We all make mistakes, and there are some mistakes that leaders and managers make in particular. These include not giving good feedback, being too “hands-off,” not delegating effectively, and misunderstanding your role.
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