Becoming a new leader can be a daunting task. We all have our own perceptions of leadership, but actually being in the position to make decisions is extremely difficult. Even more so when you are in the position for the first time. There are several mistakes that new leaders tend to make. The good news is that these mistakes can be corrected and improved upon over time. The bad news is that if new leaders continue to make these mistakes, they can alienate their team members and make it harder to successfully complete projects. Here are a few of the mistakes that new leaders tend to make, and how they can be overcome.
Valuing Control Over Delegation
Instead of building teams that they trust to complete the work, many new leaders micromanage. They value control over delegation, and as a result get less work done. The work that is completed tends to be lower quality, since team members are not trusted to do the job on their own. Leaders have to become comfortable with delegation. It is impossible to do everything on your own. Find team members that you trust and empower them.
Valuing The Title Over The Job Requirements
Sometimes leaders just want to have that shiny job title. We’ve all seen leaders who are in it for the title or the prestige. They get less respect from their peers and they are typically difficult to work for. As a leader, you have to have respect for the job and for the people you work with. In reality that means, being vulnerable and open to learning, not knowing everything and asking for input from others. Leaders who have the courage to learn, grow and include others demonstrate that they are taking their job seriously.
Not Taking Responsibility For Outcomes
Nothing is worse than a leader who won’t take responsibility when things go wrong. Leaders who shift the blame are clearly not ready to take responsibility over others, as they have much to work out on their own. When things go wrong, true leaders take the blame and figure out how the team can be better next time. And when things go right, they praise the team and empower them to succeed again in the future.
Not Working As Hard As The Rest Of The Team
Being a leader doesn’t mean we get to be lazy, or shouldn’t work as hard. It means that the job description is different, and you are carrying more responsibilities then before. True leaders are role models for their team. They are committed to the job and are working just as hard if not harder as the rest of the team.
Not Helping Their Team Members Build Their Individual Skills
Your team members aren’t finished products, and you shouldn’t expect them to be. They are learning and growing in their roles just like you are. A good leader recognizes this and helps them to develop new skills. Helping team members build their skills will improve the team’s efficiency on projects and it makes for great relationships and a team that will trust you, even in most difficult times.
* New Leader image credit goes to: rawpixel.
* Time Management image credit goes to: Bryan Minear.