Top 4 Leadership Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Top 4 Leadership Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

For managers who are committed to growth and success, self-improvement is likely a consistent effort. The more you can evolve as a leader, the greater positive impact you can have on your team. Even when striving for the best, managers and other leaders can still make mistakes that limit the success of their team. Here are some of the most common mistakes and some tips to avoid them:

Neglecting to provide the tools for success

An employee’s underperformance is often due to a lack of resources. One of the biggest mistakes a manager can make is failing to train their team. When managers don’t give them the tools for success from the start, they’re likely to encounter issues down the line.

Consequences:

You’ll be leading a team of people who feel unprepared. They’ll likely feel frustrated by the lack of resources and start to lose confidence in themselves. Your team won’t be able to deliver the best results, and they may lose motivation as a result.

Instead:

To avoid this costly mistake, make sure you take the time to work with each new employee, training them adequately and supporting their growth. Check in regularly to make sure employees have what they need, and keep your team updated on new policies and procedures.

Unbalanced management style

Some managers are prone to micromanagement, unable to let go of control and constantly looking over their employees’ shoulders. Others lean too far in the opposite direction, being too hands-off in their approach and not giving enough support and guidance.

Consequences:

No matter which side you lean towards, if you go too far in either direction it will likely have a negative impact on employees, office culture, and the success of the team. Micromanagement leads to an office culture that lacks trust. Managers who are too hands-off create an environment where employees don’t feel supported.

Instead:

The goal is a balance between the two where you give your employees space to work independently, while still checking in and making yourself accessible. Prepare your employees well so that you trust them to do the work without your constant supervision. At the same time, make sure employees feel comfortable coming to you with questions and concerns.

Poor communication

One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is neglecting to promote open communication. Whether it’s a lack of feedback, not getting to know individual team members, failing to listen to their concerns, or not creating opportunities for dialogue between employees, there are many ways for weak communication to create problems.

Consequences:

A lack of communication can lead to serious issues including mistakes and dissatisfaction. A lack of communication eats away at the strength of your team.

Instead:

Scheduling regular check-ins, holding team meetings, being present in the office, and having an open door policy can all support strong communication. Managers are responsible for setting the tone in the office, and they need to be intentional in their communication style. When managers demonstrate strong communication skills, their team will often follow suit.

Losing sight of the bigger picture

Most managers have a full plate, and it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind. Losing sight of the bigger picture, though, can be detrimental to your team.

Consequences:

Maybe you find you’re putting out fires each day instead of remaining focused on your larger goals. This can cause your team to feel a lack of direction and a sense of stagnancy.

Instead:

Make sure you carve out time to check-in with your own goals as a leader and the goals of your team. Schedule team meetings to look at these goals together and ensure that everyone is on the same page. When employees understand the larger goals of the branch and their role in achieving them, they will be much more motivated to put in their best work.

Being a leader is about giving your best to your team. Though many leaders don’t realize they’re making these mistakes, they can do real harm to the growth and success of their business. Even the best leaders can run into mistakes from time to time, but the more you can identify negative habits and common mistakes, the better you can avoid them.