leadership Archives - TAB Corporate

What are the Worst Mistakes You Can Make as a Leader?

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It takes a lot of smarts, experience, vision, intuition and skill to be an effective leader, CEO or business owner. But all leaders must be mindful that their ability to make mistakes—just like everyone else—doesn’t magically disappear when they reach the C-Suite.

What’s also true is that the ramifications of high-level mistakes can be significantly greater than those made by others. That’s because, as every business leader well knows, their actions and decisions affect potentially untold numbers of employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

So it’s important to recognize and guard against the types of mistakes leaders sometimes make:

Getting caught up in a job title. Being Chief Executive Officer often means seeing your name on a letterhead, getting an office in a prime location, etc. Yet such trappings “aren’t the qualities of a real leader,” notes business author Deep Patel. What leaders really care about “is the goal at hand, and empowering those around them to do great work.”

Attempting to handle (and control) everything themselves. Every successful business is comprised of many moving parts—far too many for a single individual to handle or control by themselves. Effective leaders distinguish between what’s genuinely important and what’s better left to others to address. They don’t “sweat the small stuff,” staying focused instead on the company’s vision and plan for strategic growth.

Not owning up to their own mistakes. Refusing to acknowledge when you’ve made a mistake might be the biggest mistake a leader can make. There’s simply too much at stake for a leader not to recognize when he or she has erred, and to evade accountability for a wrong decision.

When something goes wrong, you may find that “much of the time, it can be traced right back to the top,” writes serial entrepreneur Serhat Pala. Acknowledging such a mistake “is one of the best things a leader can do to lead by example and promote accountability in a company.”

Worrying that someone else might steal the spotlight. Successful leaders get a lot of attention, which can become addictive after a while. Sometimes they worry that someone else within the organization might, by virtue of completing an important project or embarking on a key initiative, steal the spotlight. They might even go so far as to hire individuals whom they sense are competent enough, but not likely to outshine them.

This misguided attitude can rob your company of the exceptional talent it needs in today’s marketplace. Strong leaders encourage imagination and initiative in their companies, and generally don’t concern themselves about who gets credit for a big achievement. In such happy circumstances, everyone benefits from success.

Placing blame on others when things go wrong. In the same respect, an insecure or ineffective leader will rush to judgment when something goes wrong. They engage in finger-pointing or, worse, getting rid of someone on the team as a way to deflect attention from themselves.

Effective leadership entails assuming overall responsibility for the business and emphasizing the capacity to learn from bad situations and prevent a reoccurrence in the future. Placing blame is fruitless and only serves to dampen morale and productivity throughout the organization.

With the right attitude, leaders can correct these mistakes or avoid them altogether.

By focusing instead on the personality traits that enhance leadership, a business owner or CEO can work together with his or her team and make great strides in future growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Tips on Turning Great Employees into Outstanding Leaders

The current job market is so tight and competitive, why make it any more difficult to recruit and retain the right people for your company? Too many businesses focus on getting bodies into open positions, but neglect grooming new hires (as well as veteran employees) for positions of greater responsibility and leadership.

A focus on employee development, with a view towards turning great employees into outstanding leaders, not only benefits a business in the long run, it can serve as a highly attractive recruitment strategy for future new hires.

Here are tips on employee development that can yield strong new leadership for your company:

  1. Offer continuous feedback. An employee destined for a leadership role can benefit enormously from ongoing feedback. Explore different “feedback loop” options, from regular one-on-one meetings to in-depth quarterly sessions to discuss performance and objectives. Frame your feedback in ways that emphasize the value this employee brings to the organization, with constructive comments on how to fix what might not be working.
  2. Serve as a mentor or choose one within the company. Nothing contributes more to employee development than a well-structured mentorship process. Of course, not every CEO or business owner has time to devote to this responsibility, but another seasoned executive or supervisor might be perfect for the role. In addition to accelerating the employee’s learning curve, mentorship offers plenty of cross-training experiences, which again help build leadership skills.
  3. Instill a sense of commitment and authority. Empowering employees to make specific decisions about their jobs can go a long way towards leadership development. This signifies trust in their maturity and decision-making abilities. It also engenders a sense of “ownership” in where the business is headed, a giant step towards keeping that employee creative and engaged.
  4. Support networking activities. A budding leader should get to know as much as possible about all aspects of the organization. Towards that end, says talent management expert Andre Lavoie, encourage “networking within the workplace during lunch hours or at after-work events.” From there, support their networking efforts with industry representatives beyond your workplace walls. This teaches employees “how to forge powerful connections, initiate conversations with strangers and act with the confidence of a leader.”
  5. Formalize growth opportunities within the company. An employee who sees a bright future with your business is bound to get discouraged if he or she feels they’ve been passed over for a higher-level position. If you’re genuinely committed to employee development, let the entire workforce know that, as new positions open, your company’s policy is to first try and hire from within. Bringing a talented, experienced person up through the ranks, when he or she possesses hard-earned knowledge about how the business works and how best to serve the customers, can be another powerful weapon in your employee retention arsenal.
  6. Offer advanced work-related training. An employee being groomed for leadership will probably have certain “deficits” that need to be addressed, from soft skills like communications to more advanced knowledge of business operations. Providing financial assistance and other support for those employees to attend workshops, seminars or other training sessions can significantly boost his or her knowledge base—leading to a more confident, well-rounded individual.

Every business depends on ensuring that a new generation of leaders is built into the system. By actively promoting opportunities for employee development, both the individual and the business benefit—a win-win for everyone involved.

For free information on how to grow and motivate your team, we invite you to download our white paper, “How to Effectively Use Incentives to Motivate Your Employees.”