Whether you are stepping into a new leadership position or have been a leader for years, it’s likely that you have or will make a few mistakes. We’re all human, and errors are a part of nature. No one is perfect. However, there is always room to learn and grow to avoid making mistakes. Here are four common leadership mistakes and tips on how you can avoid making them!
Lack of Feedback
According to a study by the Ken Blanchard Companies, out of 1,4000 surveyed employees, failing to provide feedback was the most common leadership mistake. Feedback can be both positive and negative, but both forms will help your organization. Feedback should always be constructive so that it can help improve performance. Be sure to make feedback a priority and a regular occurrence. As a leader, you must remember to not only give feedback, but also be open to receive it.
Another common leadership mistake is misunderstanding motivation. Money is not the only motivator for your employees. Yes, money is an important motivator, but it’s not the only one! Leaders tend to make the misconception that monetary rewards are the only rewards. However, in most cases, employees value other rewards much more. Instead of offering a monetary bonus, consider taking your team out to lunch, providing opportunities to expand their education, or providing flexible scheduling. Check out my series of articles on employee engagement!
Failing to Delegate
In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of delegation and offered tips on how to properly delegate tasks. Successful leaders delegate tasks and projects based on individual interests and skills. Delegation can be challenging at times, but it is crucial that you accurately assign tasks to your team instead of taking on too much work yourself or assign the responsibility to the wrong person. One way to delegate tasks is to simply ask for a volunteer. By taking this chance, you may discover unique skills from someone who you least expected!
Lacking vision is a common leadership mistake because, without vision, a leader cannot inspire or motivate. As a leader, it is your responsibility to provide a clear and achievable vision for your team. Without that, you cannot inspire your team, motivate performance, or create value. Furthermore, it is your role to hold employees accountable for reaching their expectations and goals. If there are no expectations or goals to achieve, employees will be less productive. To provide vision, talk to each employee and explain to them how they fit into the organization’s goals. Then spend time identify each individual’s goals and help build a plan to achieve those goals.
As a leader, you will likely make mistakes. No one is perfect, but by following these four tips, you have a better chance of avoiding these common mistakes.