Leaders are the figureheads of any organization. As such, they have to walk a balanced line, teetering on the precarious edge between a lackadaisical attitude and “ruling with an iron fist”. There are hard-to-spot pitfalls involved in holding a leadership position, but they can be avoided with a little foresight and self-examination. Here are X top mistakes that even great leaders make, and some suggestions on how to avoid those mistakes.
Consistency is key to being open and available to hear suggestions. Remember: your people were chosen for the assets they can bring to the organization– so try to make time to let them reveal their valuable insights. You’ll be happy you did, and it’s better for the organization’s ability to prepare for unexpected outside changes.
A worker can only be as good at their job as the training they received. Workers depend on the organization’s leaders to make sure they have what they need to succeed. Poor training and bad habits can be hard to rectify and can cost the organization hundreds of hours of time wasted correcting those mistakes. Make sure to carefully vet anyone meant to train your people to make sure that person’s certifications or stated qualifications are legitimate.
Expecting Respect Without Giving It
Sure, great organizers or CEOs work hard to earn the top position to lead their group towards success, but treating subordinates with a less-than-optimal amount respect can cause rifts and resentment within that group. When people feel disposable and replaceable, morale and the job itself suffers.
Even a person in the lowest of positions expects to be treated as a human being with dignity, so a person who makes others feel respected becomes respected in turn. Make a point to remember names, writing them down with notes if necessary. Speak to people individually and face-to-face as often as possible, and be sure to recognize and praise accomplishments.
No one likes a co-worker who avoids work and sits around all day, and a leader who does no visible work might be perceived the same way. Working side-by-side with others builds teamwork and a feeling of group cohesion, so don’t be afraid to get into the nitty-gritty of the job with them. They’ll respect you more for it.