Everybody makes mistakes, even the greatest leaders have stumbled along the road to success. No one is perfect, and everyone has shortfalls; but when you are able to recognize these faults you can create a positive impact within your agency.
According to the Great Leadership blog, these are the top five mistakes a leader can make:
- Focusing on the urgent and not the Important: This is a trap that many leaders fall into. Have you asked yourself how much time you’re spending on unexpected and urgent activities, instead of working towards your goal? Many leaders fall into the crisis zone and lose sight of what they should really be taking care of—their goals. Instead of becoming engulfed in last minute crises, dedicate at least one day a week to work on tasks that will move you closer to achieving your goals. This will help you keep your end goal in mind, while still taking care of more pressing matters.
- Lack of Consistent Communication: There is no such thing as “over communicating,” especially when technology today allows us to consume mass amounts of information every day. You should be communicating frequently and consistently through various methods like emails, phone calls, meetings, audio, video, and hard-copy print outs.
- Ineffective feedback: It’s easy to look past things and not sweat the small stuff, but when your employees display unacceptable behavior or are doing tasks wrong, you need to give clear feedback right away to avoid conflict down the road. “Be clear about what you observed, how it impacted you, and ask for ideas from your employee about how they could approach it in the future. And then get their commitment to make the change,” says Beth Armknecht Miller, a leadership development advisory firm accelerating the leadership success of CEOs and business leaders.
- Failing to define clear goals: Employees need to understand how they will be measured and evaluated. “Defining clear goals provides a roadmap for the employee. And more importantly, when an employee is part of her goal setting process, she has more ownership in successfully attaining her goals. Without goals, employees will not meet your performance expectations because they don’t know what they are,” Miller advises.
- Misunderstanding motivation: Once you have met an employee’s baseline extrinsic motivators, salary and benefits, you should focus on creating a foundation that encourages, autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Daniel Pink’s recent book Drive states, humans are driven by these three attributes. Autonomy is all about control of tasks, time, technique, and team. Mastery is providing an opportunity to get very good at something and to continue the process and understanding that you will never be perfect. It is the pursuit of perfection that motivates. And finally purpose, working for some greater good and not just profit. Profit provides a means for a company’s purpose, Miller stated.
If you were to ask your team which mistakes you make, what do you think they would say? Let us know by commenting below!