11 Ways to Ensure You Do Not Fail as a Leader
“It’s often said that people join companies but leave their managers. And it is absolutely true. A raft of research has shown that the vast majority of employees who quit their jobs don’t leave their company, they leave their boss.” – Peter Vajda
We all want to avoid being that boss for numerous reasons. Most of us genuinely want to be liked. We want to do a good job. We want to contribute to our employees’ and team members’ happiness and success. We want to grow our companies or departments.
Thankfully, it is easy to be a great boss. We just need to spend as much time – if not more – developing our interpersonal skills as our technical skills.
Let’s take a look at some corrosive behaviors that failing leaders exhibit, which I’ve paired with simple ways to turn those behaviors around. By avoiding the don’ts and following the do’s, you’ll help ensure that you do not fail as a leader:
Don’t dismiss suggestions or ideas with “no”, “but” or “however.” Do listen with an open mind.
Don’t get defensive when someone questions your decisions. Do ask them what they would do instead.
Don’t justify unethical or shady behavior because you’re in a “sink or swim” situation. Do hold yourself to high standards in everything you do.
Don’t criticize employees in public. Do gently deliver criticism and offer suggestions for improvement in private.
Don’t emotionally isolate yourself from your employees. Do let them get to know you.
Don’t discourage creativity and innovation, even unconsciously. Do challenge your employees to help you grow the company.
Don’t encourage employees to cut corners – ever. Do create a workplace that rewards quality over speed.
Don’t play favorites. Do spend time with and pay attention to all employees as equally as possible.
Don’t compete. Do collaborate.
Don’t hide during times of crisis. Do be transparent and make yourself available.
Don’t fail to communicate purpose. Do continually remind employees how they are contributing to the company and improving the lives of your customers.
Don’t holding back encouragement, praise, or feedback. Do be generous with it – you’ll make your employee’s day.
In my next blog post, we’ll look at questions you can ask yourself to deepen your self-awareness. Until then, what is one behavior you’ve witnessed that has lead to a major growth in your leadership? How could you practice this behavior more often?
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