Leading requires that you have people following you. It’s simple, but there are hundreds of ways to make a mess of this very fundamental concept. Here are four mistakes you should avoid if you want to build and maintain a strong following.
Don’t think everybody is motivated by the same things.
This is a huge error in judgment and rarely ends with a happy ending. With five different generations in the workplace, it’s virtually impossible to have a one-size-fits-all mentality. Many managers try, and eventually fail. The common goal for everybody is to succeed but the passion and motivation that fuels success is personally unique. Consider a person’s value system, interests, motivation to climb the corporate ladder, and style of dealing with others. These are the clues for you to understand what makes employees “tick”, how you can help them reach their full potential and get the most from them.
It’s not about you! Really, it isn’t.
Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean your employees wake up every day (or any day for that matter) thinking “how can I make my boss successful today?” Don’t get me wrong, they want you to be successful, it’s in their best interest, but it has to be in relation to their success. Think about it for a minute – if every person on your team was highly successful, you’d have an unstoppable organization. The best leaders rarely think about themselves but instead they focus on building a vibrant workplace where people can be their best. This delivers the greatest value to your customers and your company.
Don’t criticize in a public forum.
That is unless you want to embarrass your employees and destroy morale (a leading indicator of low employee engagement). I’ve witnessed it personally and helped leaders change their destructive ways. Everybody needs regular feedback; it’s the way we get better however when feedback is delivered the wrong way, it can have a negative impact on a person’s confidence, motivation, and productivity. Study after study on employee engagement has demonstrated the direct connection to employee commitment, business innovation, and customer satisfaction. Best practice… deliver praise in public; provide constructive criticism behind closed doors.
Don’t shut your door.
I don’t mean this literally (although it is not a bad idea) but rather intellectually. The day you starting thinking you’ve learned it all and that there’s no more room for you own professional growth is the day your career starts on a downhill slide. The expression, “those of you who know everything are especially irritating to those of us who don’t” is equally applicable to personal reflection. Humility and open-mindedness are critical elements of your personal mirror that reflect how you need to adapt to an always-changing business environment.
We All Make Mistakes and That’s Okay.
This is true throughout all aspects of our lives but it takes courage to recognize our mistakes, admit to them, and make a commitment to improve. If you are facing a leadership challenge, message me. I'm eager to learn more and help find a solution.
SKYE Business Solutions helps leaders discover their purpose: the driving force behind your organization’s ability to achieve. Purpose empowers leaders to recognize value; creating a culture of engagement, contribution, and trust. SKYE propels your leadership to the next level: pushing through the ordinary to unlock the full potential throughout all levels of your organization.