You deserve to enjoy the benefits that come with being a leader. But sometimes it’s difficult to live up to the expectations of others. And the reality is: sometimes you'll make mistakes.
As a leader, your mistakes can result in losing your successful advantage. If you use the right approach recovering from them becomes much easier. Consider these leadership mistakes and how to fix and prevent them altogether them:
1. Ignoring difficult responsibilities. Leadership isn’t going to be rosy all the time. There are difficulties that you have to face from time to time. The worst thing you can do is shy away from the tough decisions and responsibilities. Put on a brave face and show why you were chosen to lead them in the first place.
· Need to have a corrective conversation with someone? Avoid putting it off. Get right to it and remind the person of your expectations.
· Always remember that we all want to know when they have made an error or are doing something incorrectly; your team are no different. This does not mean that it is easy to hear; when you care about your work negative feedback stings.
· Make it private: corrective conversation should NEVER be done in front of anyone else.
· Be respectful in your language and approach.
· demonstrate faith their ability to correct course and offer support.
· Never approach with frustration or anger. Weak leaders allow emotions to run unchecked; at best, this yields short term, limited results. You will only succeed to demoralize, erode trust and harm your relationship forever.
2. Sidestepping recognition. It’s extremely important to recognize the input of each and every team member. This fosters a culture of commitment, dedication and excellence.
· Yes, you enjoy the recognition garnered from leading a successful team. But it's absolutely important to share that recognition with the team members.
· Provide individual recognition for a job well done.
· Use a group forum to recognize the contributions of specific team members. This makes them to feel that their extra effort is worthwhile, and gain the respect of their peers.
· A strong leader is one who is inspired and inspires others. Overtly recognizing hard work, positive attitudes and going the extra mile injects life and inspiration in your team.
· Be generous with your gratitude and appreciation and watch your team flourish! Leaders of flourishing teams are more apt to get noticed and more apt to be considered for future promotions.
3. Ignoring the opinions of others. It's true that you earned this leadership position by displaying admirable traits. Avoid forgetting the support team that helped you get to where you are.
· Ask for input and feedback from your team. As a leader, it's important to outwardly and regularly show that you value the opinions and ideas of those around you. When you show that you value people's input, you show that you value the people. Remember, you want a team of thinkers- thinkers help you problem solve, contribute creative ideas and stay engaged.
· Even if an idea isn’t popular or feasible, thank the team members for their input. Remind them that one idea will spark more.
4. Feeling indispensable. Now that you've gotten to the top, it's easy to start feeling indispensable. However, avoid getting into that mode as much as possible. Keep in mind, you weren’t the first and you certainly won't be the last person in your position!
· Remember how you got there in the first place. Your ego is not your friend, keep it in check or it will limit your and your team's potential.
· Add leadership metrics to the standard performance metrics. It is a bit more challenging than other measurables but is totally possible. To be valuable, leadership metrics will require input from your team and work best when reported on a scale (i.e. 1-10). Include general values such as "do you inspire?", or "do you promote independent thought?" as well as specific-to-you metrics on areas you are currently working on such as micromanagement tendencies?
5. Lack of communication. Keeping the lines of communication open and encouraging open communication are the best ways to lead effectively. All persons on your team need to hear from you.
· Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, keep your team members engaged and informed.
· Schedule regular meetings (a brief weekly is best) with your team. Avoid having meetings only when there's an issue at hand. Team members need to feel connected and in the loop and deserve to have their issue heard and resolved.
· Update others on the progress of projects and events regularly. Sharing progress updates even when there has not been much or any movement forward prevents confusion and frustration. This also allows you to hold them accountable for keeping you abreast of their progress.
· Foster an environment where your team members feel comfortable approaching you. Show them that you want to hear from them.
You were put in that leadership role for a reason. Always keep that reason at the forefront of your mind. Live up to the expectations of others and do what’s expected.
If this is your first leadership role, you'll realize it’s a work in progress. No two days are the same and each experience requires a different approach. Remember, just like those you lead, you are human and will make mistakes - own them, learn from them and recover well. You will gain even more respect for it!