No two businesses are the same. Similarly, no two leaders are the same. Leaders come in many forms and achieve many levels of effectiveness, from the exceptional to the serviceable to the unfortunate. Being a good leader requires hard work and commitment. You’ll need to hone your skills and earn the respect of your team members.
One of the most common downfalls for a leader is a failure to learn from their mistakes or the mistakes of others. At Bartercard, we understand the value of leadership in a business. Read on to learn some key reasons why leaders fail.
1. Expecting to have all the answers
A leader can’t be expected to know everything. Instead of assuming you know the answers and railroading everyone on your team into your way of thinking, learn to ask the right questions instead. Your team should be a collection of diverse perspectives and expertise and seized as an opportunity for valuable input. Leaders bring together complimentary approaches to spark creativity or bridge gaps in their knowledge. Don’t think you have to answer every question. Take the time to listen and you’ll fill the blind spots in your leadership.
2. Not knowing your team
A team is comprised of real people with real personalities and varied skills. Understanding the person behind the job title can help you capitalise on their respective strengths and earn their respect in the process. Knowing your team also means gauging their workload. A good leader knows what their team can handle, when they’re at capacity, and how to pull back. They don’t keep forcing work on the team, overwhelming them and diminishing their focus.
3. Taking too long to make decisions
Indecision is time lost. If you cannot act decisively, you either don’t trust your own instincts or you’re afraid of the outcome. Rely on your intuition and knowledge and trust the team around you to sufficiently inform your decisions.
4. Unclear on their vision
If you do not have a clear vision, how can you set manageable expectations for your team? Hone your purpose and vision. Clearly define them so that you can prevent confusion and blurred lines within your team. Share your vision and expectations with your team so that you can all work towards a common goal.
5. Lacking personal integrity
You wouldn’t follow someone who was unethical or immoral, so why expect your team to settle for any less? Personal integrity is a key factor in earning the respect of your colleagues and teammates. If you cannot earn their respect, then they will not follow you. If they aren’t following you, then you’re not really leading. Embody the values you would expect from your team.
The business world is forever evolving, so don’t become complacent even if things are tracking well. Continue to push yourself and your team. Encourage your team to learn new things and continually questions your processes. Can anything be done more efficiently? Persistently seek out better ways of doing things and encourage your team to do the same by supporting their new ideas.
7. Hiring the wrong people
Finding the right people for your team can be a long, drawn-out process, but good leaders don’t waver in their expectations. Don’t cut corners when it comes to recruitment. Hold out for the ‘one’, rather than filling a position quickly with ‘good enough’. Being too lazy to tick all the boxes or relying solely on your gut could land you with problem employees that disrupt the team rather than complement and enhance it.
Be the leader you want to see
Leaders can make or break a business, and leadership can be the difference between the survival and failure. For more business tips, download Bartercard’s free eBooks to help attract new customers and grow your business, and contact Bartercard today to learn how you can increase profits for your business.