We often talk about the importance of properly practicing leadership within organizations and how this can have a considerable impact. It is true that leaders are the ones who keep the cogs well-oiled so the business machine as a whole can function optimally. If you want to be a leader at your organization, you don’t need anyone to give you a title, you can become one by following these steps.
Becoming a leader is not easy. It takes work, effort and an unbreakable determination to accomplish your objective in spite the obstacles that may stand in your way. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information available to you to make the transition from follower to leader more achievable. However, something that is not always addressed are the mistakes that established leaders – once they have achieved this status – sometimes make, and they may be more common than you think. Today we will be reviewing this, so that those of you who are steadily growing into leaders can avoid making the same errors:
1. Not listening to the people you are in charge of
One of the top tips for leadership is caring about the needs of those around you. That is to say, being cognizant of their needs and doing everything in your power to ensure that they are met, with the aim of nurturing collective well-being.
This is an ever-present fact among the axioms of leadership, so it is important that you adhere to it. However, many people take this concept even further, which means that they sometimes neglect their own needs to satisfy those of others, which is a somewhat extreme approach. This does not mean that you must be self-centred, the important thing is to give the same importance to the needs of others as you do your own, and although there will be instances when
compromising will be beneficial and essential, it cannot be the standard practice.
When a leader is not considering their own needs, they cannot be in the optimal state to achieve excellence and serve others. A good analogy is the instructions that are given on flights in case cabin depressurisation occurs: put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
2. Not knowing how to say no
As we mentioned above, the qualities of leadership include a love for others, which makes us serve them however we can. But a common mistake that many leaders make without realizing it is being so accustomed to serving, and being so disciplined in that regard, that they find it nigh on impossible to say no.
This is not healthy as there are a lot of unscrupulous people who will want to take advantage, and you must not forget that refusing certain things is preferable both for your own well-being and for the group as a whole.
Always saying yes is not a virtue, and always saying no is not either. Balance is needed to properly exercise leadership in a way that is constructive rather than destructive for everyone involved.
3. Acting arrogantly
This is another of the mistakes that can easily befall leaders when they begin to see that their efforts are coming to fruition and that their follower base and the confidence put in their performance is becoming increasingly strong. Behaving arrogantly can prevent you from learning important things because you believe that at your level it is difficult for anyone else to teach you anything, which is not the case. Arrogant behaviour can also push people away, no one wants to be around somebody who acts like they are better than everyone else. Arrogant behaviour is a significant problem because your other qualities are obscured by this damaging belief that causes you to act in an undesirable way.
4. Too much delegation
At first, some people may experience problems delegating, but once they overcome this issue they need to maintain balance in this regard because it is easy to go too far. The secret is remembering that anything that is taken to excess is damaging… anything, without exception. When you delegate too much, you are neglecting your responsibilities. Even if you are a good leader, this is an error that must be redressed. Bear in mind that being a leader does not imply less
work, in fact, it means having more responsibilities – not only towards yourself, but also towards your team, which you must look after, and towards each of the objectives that have been set and achieved.
The opposite of this – not delegating enough – is equally counterproductive, or perhaps even more so as your team may resent your unwillingness to trust their abilities. Furthermore, you will be put under an excessive workload that will prevent you from performing to your full potential and will probably just lead to more stress. :
Author: I am Andrés Gananci, an entrepreneur and adventurer with a passion for life. I launched my first online business at only 17 years of age. 12 years later, I am still traveling the world while I work from home.
Editor of Gananci.