6 Leadership Mistakes That Will Cost You Dearly

by Chandler Barr Jun 16,2016

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Heavy is the head that wears a crown. As a leader, there are times when your patience will be sorely tested and you will be tempted to give up. But if you are a person who delights in leading people and has wanted to do so from the longest time, when the opportunity to be a leader presents itself to you, you will naturally jump at that opportunity.

And while mistakes are a part and parcel of life, especially as a leader, there are a few mistakes you should avoid at all costs. It is because recovering from these mistakes is not always possible.

Here are 6 leadership mistakes that will cost you dearly.

Believing your word is law

When you believe that your word is law, that’s either your way or the high way, you are not acting like a leader. Your acting like a dictator. As tempting as it is to insist that things only be done your way or hoarding all the decisions to yourself in order to reduce mistakes or lessen the fallout, this type of leadership rubs employees the wrong way. Nobody likes to have their every move monitored and every thought dictated. Lead, but don’t hover. Your employees were chosen for a reason, based on their skills and competencies. Give them the freedom to make their own decisions and implement new ideas.

Using fear to motivate

This goes hand in hand with the above point. Fear is not a good motivator. This is because fear only works for short periods of time. When employees become immune to fear, they fight back. Occasionally fear acts a motivator because the fear of failure provides the kick we need to succeed, but not all the time. Instead use encouragement and respect to motivate employees.

Not listening to employees

You may lead a number of people but it does not always mean that you know best. When you make decisions or call for ideas, make sure to really listen to your employees. As in listen to what they have to say and consider it. In fact, listening to their employees is one of the best things a leader can do.

Not admitting a mistake

Making mistakes is a very human thing to do. All of us make mistakes, even leaders. But when you don’t admit your mistakes, you are setting yourself up for something worse. Admitting a mistake on the other hand, especially to employees let them know that you too are human and it is a sure fire way to earn the loyalty of your employees.

Treating employees like strangers

Employees are not strangers you pass on the road. They are people with likes, dislikes, families, problems etc. You don’t have to know each and every employee in your organization personally. But neither can you act like they don’t exist or that they only exist for your service. It costs nothing to greet them or ask how they are doing.

Behaving like just another employee

There’s a saying that ‘the captain goes down with the ship’. It means that a ship’s captain dedication is foremost to his ship, his crew and any passengers on board. In the event of a casualty, the captain gets rescued last, after his crew and passengers have been saved. It’s a fitting example of a person behaving like a true leader. Obviously, leaders in organizations don’t have to behave like ship captains but neither can they just behave like any other employees. Leaders have responsibilities and good leaders are there when their employees need them, always willing to help in any way they can and always ready to take responsibility. Leaders who do all of the above often times earn the enduring loyalty of their employees and serve as inspirational role models!

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Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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