3 Mistakes Leaders are Making
Leaders of the business have reached the top due to various reasons. From talent, hard work, leadership traits, technical skills and many other reasons. At this level you may not have regular or honest feedback. Your direct reports, employees within the business and managers to you may be nice because of your position (I know this hurts). To be blunt, below are mistakes leaders need to know they are making:
1. Taking over meetings — having had managers who are strong in personalities and extroverted, I have seen leaders take over meetings. It doesn’t mean they are being bad leaders, it may be that they do not have the awareness of this and no one has told them. Next time you have a meeting, step back and let the meeting be led by your team or other colleagues within your business. If the meeting isn’t yours and it’s organised by someone else, you definitely don’t need to take over. If you feel like you need to step in, then encourage your team members in the call. Or before the call, ask if they are happy for you to step in. Your colleagues who organised the meeting might not be confident or be normally quiet. Then bulldozing in the meeting, you are making the meeting organiser less confident. The only time you should be taking over would be if you are presenting, it’s your meeting or if you agree this together with the meeting holder. Step back!
2. Jumping to conclusions without research — being a leader, you need to have a balanced point of view. You will have overview from different colleagues and your direct reports. You may trust your colleagues and some of your direct reports. However, if an incident occurs, you need to understand what happened. Look into the detail, not blame and be objective. Speak to all involved, or even speak to the person involved. Don’t jump to conclusions. If an incident occurred which may be a disciplinary issue, then that’s a separate issue and a process will need to be followed. For general management issues, you need to be objective at all times.
3. Only speaking to your direct reports — if you have a large team and your direct reports have employees, don’t ignore them! I understand you have responsibilities and you may have a long going on, however if you walk past them say hello. The employee is indirectly reporting to you, ask how they are, have an interest. Only liaising with your direct reports demonstrates you are unapproachable. There are hierarchies in a business for a reason and your employ managers to manage, which makes sense. However, a simple interest in passing will make the employees in your whole team feel valued. You also never know what skills and ideas they may have and can ultimately help you!