4 Common Leadership Errors All Managers Should Avoid

Senior businessman with thumbs downNot all individuals who hold positions of power use them wisely. One only needs to observe certain world leaders to see how some people use and abuse power. Unfortunately, some managers also do not make good leaders, and are not properly trained on how to supervise their underlings. This list compiles a list of the most common leadership errors.

1. Power Trip – Many individuals dream about climbing the corporate ladder and landing a management role. However, when they get that dream promotion, they don’t know how to conduct themselves. Many supervisors let the power go to their head and turn into demanding, egotistical and aggressive people. Supervisors need to be very careful to monitor themselves and make sure they are not going on a power trip.

Although managers are in superior positions to their underlings, they need to always remember that they are nothing without their team. They need to always keep in mind to treat their staff with respect they deserve, or risk losing valuable employees because of their poor attitudes.

2. Afraid to Lead – Completely the opposite of the mistake above, some supervisors are actually afraid to utilise their power and lead their people. Some individuals are naturally more timid, and, therefore, they abstain from being direct, stating their opinion, or reprimanding their staff.

Being afraid to lead your own team will make employees not respect you, and, in turn, they will not look to you as their actual leader. In times where you will actually need to be stern or forceful, they may not take you seriously, affecting your role in the company and preventing you from getting work done. A good leader needs to be able to lead his or her team, albeit in a respectful and efficient manner.

3. Not Providing Feedback – A successful supervisor needs to take the time to provide feedback to employees. If certain staff members are slacking off, coming in late, and are not following directions, don’t just fire them, but take the time to meet with them, explain their errors, and provide instructions or training on how to improve.

On the other hand, if your underlings are working hard, exceeding in their tasks, and contributing to the organisation, make sure to let them know that you see and appreciate their efforts. Individuals love positive recognition, and, chances are, they will try even harder if they know management is watching them and rewards them for their efforts.

4. Micromanaging – Some supervisors do not know how to let go and trust their team. Therefore, they make sure to get involved in every detail of a project or assignment. Although it is great when managers work together with their staff, too much involvement just shows employees that their supervisor does not fully trust them. In order to stop micromanaging, make sure you have a good team assembled. If you do, trust them to do a good job, and begin minimising your involvement a little each week.

If your employees continue to work hard and meet deadlines, rest assured that you can stop micromanaging. If you see dramatic negative changes, assess employees and see what can be done to improve their workflow. Either they need further feedback and training, or you may need to replace them with other qualified individuals. A great leader needs to empower his or her employees to be responsible for their own work.

There are effective leaders and ineffective ones. Not everyone is born to be a great leader, and needs to take the time to monitor their own behavior and make corrections. If you find yourself making any of the mistakes above, take the time to improve your leadership skills, which will benefit your employees and your organisation.

Many Thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 7 November, 2014

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