7 Mistakes Leaders Should Avoid Making

Bad leaders are rarely born. Rather they slowly edge their way towards the edge. Before you know it, you’re there.

Image by Ed Yourdon

Image by Ed Yourdon

No leader wants to venture into the badlands. Great leaders want to build great teams, complete their visions, and more. But they can’t do that if they’ve been pulled into bad leadership traits.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about. Mistakes leaders make and what they can do to avoid it.

1. Gossiping: Gossip is a weed that spreads like wildfire through an organization. Left untamed it will leave your company in ruins. Don’t buy into the gossip. Stop spreading it and stop those who are.

When you hear gossip, nip it in the bud. Confront the one who’s sharing the “juicy” tidbit. If necessary, let the team member go. Gossip is toxic!

2. Putting others down: Your goal as a leader isn’t to put others down. It’s to lift them up. Your job is to make the best of your team. So do it!

If you feel the temptation to put another team member down, stop in your tracks. Examine why you want to put him down. Then begin thinking of all the good this person has done. Let that become your focus.

3. Using others as stepping stones: There are leaders who get their roles mixed up. They think the team is there to serve them. To be stepping stones to their next position. In reality, your role as a leader is to serve others and to help them rise to the next level.

Begin to view your team members as valuable assets. They’re your responsibility to cultivate and nurture as they grow into positions of leadership. Don’t get the wrong idea and think they’re there to advance you!

4. Putting their family second: A huge mistake leaders make is putting their job or career in front of their family. You made a commitment to your family. To be there, to provide (not just a paycheck but emotional and relational support), to love them.

Watch out to make sure you’re putting the right things first in your life. Notice the tiny shifts you’re making and when you need to course correct. Avoid it long enough and you may not have a family to go home to.

5. Failing to rest: The demands of leadership are many. Our time is one of those demands. But don’t let it consume you. Realize there will be times when you’ll need to rest.

Decide to schedule periods of rest into your day, week, or month. Whatever works best for you. To do this, actually write it down on your calendar and don’t let anything come between it. Let it be your recharge time.

6. Fearing failure: Failure’s become a dirty word in our society. We’ve been told failure is to be avoided at all costs. Nothing good comes from it.

Those are lies, I tell you! Failure can be your best friend. Embrace failure when you encounter it. Ask failure what you can learn from the experience. Grasp that knowledge and move forward knowing you’ve gained wisdom from failure.

7. Not enjoying the leadership journey: Sure, leadership has stress. You’re showing people the way to a better life. And you feel responsible for getting them to the top.  Sometimes leadership is rough.

And yet leadership should be enjoyable. You’re able to help people achieve more than they ever thought. Enjoy leading your team to success. There’s nothing else like it.

Question: What else should leaders avoid doing? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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