While most leaders are focused on figuring out how to boost output and ratchet up team productivity, too few of them ever stop to consider that they may be their organization’s own worst enemy. Here are three of the most common and expensive mistakes that leaders routinely make without realizing it:
- Leading When Empowering is the Real Answer
Leadership oftentimes steals power from those whom you are trying to lead. Most people who are talented enough to make it to you team deserve their place at the table. So get out of their way and let them perform. Your task as a leader is to give them solutions, not problems. Stand behind them, don’t hover above them, and you’ll become much more successful as a leader.
- Exerting the Wrong Kind of Control
Quit exerting the kind of control that chokes creativity, discourages innovation, and makes your high potentials reserved and risk-averse. Exercise control over such things as the hoarding of information between members of your organization. Control your budget to maximize the resources at your team’s disposal. Control your impulse to micromanage teammates who need the freedom and responsibility to perform in a way that makes your organization unstoppable.
- Minimizing Risk in a Way that Stifles Reward
Shrinking risk does not mean that you don’t let employees take chances. A good leader concentrates on pushing employees past their comfort zones, and that entails a certain degree of calculated risk. If you want to minimize risk, then focus your energy on controlling the risks posed by your competitors. But give your own organization plenty of room to experiment. That’s the key to innovation, and without innovation you’re dead.
Honest leadership asks “What am I doing that is undermining the ability of others to perform?” Answer that question and I guarantee you’ll emerge as a more effective leader.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
Blog, Ezine & Website: www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2011, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS