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“Nobody is perfect”, said in the legendary film “Some like it hot”. Being a leader comes with a host of responsibilities, including being a good influence on those you work with and who work for you. Whether you've recently landed in your first leadership role or you've been managing employees for years, there are always lessons to be learned and improvements to be made. Leaders are not perfect either, but it is in your hands to avoid these five common leadership mistakes which you probably make without even realizing it.
Calling surprise meetings:
Holding any position of power can be good for your ego, but don’t let that position of power create a false sense of security. Accept it, without an agenda with the goals, topics to deal with and participants, your meeting will be anything but productive. A common leadership mistake is to call surprise meetings, which are usually a waste of time for both your team and yourself. Forget it and attend only those meetings which are indispensable and help you improve your management. Lead by example and have transparency with your team as in case something goes wrong or you make a bad decision, it can go a long way.
Not standing up for the team:
Leaders are typically hired or promoted to their positions because they know what needs to be done and how to do it. This is a serious mistake, and very often one which is very difficult to detect. Leadership is about being with the team in both good and bad times, but most of all a leader must support their collaborators when something is not working well. There are always going to be problems and the important thing is not to point the finger but to find solutions. You will never find an exit if you have not previously stood up for your team.
Not knowing how to say “No”:
One of the most difficult adjustments a new leader has to make is learning how to handle disagreements or problems that arise within the group. You may want to come off as fair and balanced but avoid calling people out for their negative behavior to avoid potential conflict. Doing so will hurt your whole staff more if you don't nip an issue in the bud. Saying yes to everything is a sign of weakness. As a leader, you need to take risks and be aware that it is impossible to please everyone. Learning how to say “No” is essential to strengthen your leadership and crucial not to reduce your productivity (if you take more tasks than you can, you will only stress yourself and you won’t reach your goals).
Using Whatsapp as a communication tool :
It's easy to let your feelings about a situation influence the choice, and sometimes it makes sense to do so. But in business, using emotions as your sole justification for any choice is a bad practice. Your team needs to see the facts and logic backing up your choices if you want them to trust you. It is very difficult to find someone who hasn’t got on their phones or at least knows about the popular instant messaging app Whatsapp. However, this is no excuse for it to become your tool for discussing work issues, coordinating meetings, managing a team, prioritizing tasks or communicating internally. The answer is NO.
Not accepting mistakes :
You've been entrusted with a leadership position because someone else trusts your judgment. Consistently second-guessing yourself can rub off on others, and before you know it, no one trusts you. Don't be afraid to obey your gut instinct when it's right. We said it at the beginning: “nobody is perfect”. Assuming we are wrong should be a motto for every leader, instead of one of the most common leadership mistakes. Furthermore, accepting your own mistakes will make you a much stronger and respected leader in your organization.