5 Things to AVOID Doing As A Leader

February 19, 2018 0 Comments

By Dr. Paul L. Gerhardt, PhD

Earning the role of leadership doesn’t mean you’re gaining power or being able to control others. The role of leadership grants responsibility – and a lot of it. Some say that leaders are born, not made; however, if you don’t know the do’s and don’ts for successful leadership, trust me when I say that, your background will not matter at all. Bad leadership will harm your reputation, ability and loyalty from others. You may not even realize how what doing a few things wrong could actually be affecting the strength of your team and your organization. Some leaders think they are great, while subordinates may have one foot out the door or be talking badly about you behind your back because you may have earned that and not even realize it.  

Read on to find out the 5 top things you’ll need to avoid, in order to become a good leader.
1.      Complaining
Complaining is probably the worst kind of habit a leader can possess. As boss, your role will be to guide others, make the problems seem simpler, and motivate your team to solve them. However, if you are the one who is whining about fairness, being immature or making excuses to slack off, then what will your team members do? Complaining about the problem shows that you are not strong enough to handle it; complain and it won’t be long before your colleagues begin questioning your authority.

2.      Being unwilling to see the truth
You may have the psychology that because you are the boss, that you already know everything about each perspective. If you are so quick to assume that you see all sides, or do not want to see all sides because you are so busy, you may be making the organization weaker. This trait is common among people who don’t like problems, or are basically afraid of them. Pretending as if everything is fine, will harm the company and increase the problem itself. Don’t always FULLY listen to advisors and employees who don’t state the situation as it is? You may not realize you are doing this. You really NEED the insights of your people who may be able to help you make the best decisions possible. Nobody can know everything. The smartest leaders know that they must be approachable, always honest, and willing to take time to listen carefully.  In case you’re feeling suspicious about things being kept hidden, go ahead and assess the situation for yourself. Ignorance never helps anyone. Being approachable can help you strengthen your career and build workplace relationships that you really need.

3.      Dictatorship
Nobody likes to have a Hitler in the office. Absolutely no one. The key to avoiding dictatorship is to remember that you are not at the top of the food chain: there is always someone above you, who has the ability to reprimand you for your actions. A CEO is appointed for only as long as the board wants them to be. The minute a leader begins to think that they are the supreme boss, things begin to go downhill. Every leader needs followers. Loyalty is earned one action at a time. How you see yourself, colleagues and your employees always determines how you treat them. We are all humans and want to be treated with respect and support.

4.      Improper communication
A company is only as strong as the employees who run it. It is essential that the boss be on good terms with their workforce, for them to give proper credit where it’s due. A leader has to be someone who is reachable, to whom people can freely communicate their thoughts, opinions and queries. If there’s a communication gap, then this will not be possible. Remember that communication is a PROCESS that involves listening to understand, then paraphrasing to clarify understanding BEFORE talking back.

5.      Being power hungry
Craving power rarely results in a pleasant outcome. Bosses should know that power isn’t something to strive for. Achievement and wealth, on the other hand are fine. These factors measure the success of a person. However, being power-hungry only results in more greed, which in turn will cause you to make wrong decisions. It’s true; there are many instances where good people had become blinded by power and then lost everything. Power is deadly – it will end up controlling you. It is best to help empower colleagues to make good decisions and involve others thoughtfully when you have decisions to be made. There truly is enough success available for everyone in your organizations.

Mistakes happen all the time; and blunders in leadership are no different. What’s important is the lesson learned from it.

Dr. Paul Gerhardt is a tenured professor of management, diversity and leadership lecturer and the author of several publications available on Amazon.com, including Diversity at Work and the new Leadership Handbook. You can get your FREE COPY of the Leadership Handbook by clicking this link: http://bit.ly/Free-Leadership-Handbook


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