As a successful leader, you’ve utilized your drive, ambition and business sense to climb the ladder, head up big projects and work with top clients. While you have many critical leadership strengths, you might have weaknesses that can hinder your success. Recognizing and fixing common leadership mistakes is key to leadership development and, ultimately, growing your business. Five common leadership mistakes (and fixes) include:
1. Leave Your Ego at the Door
Get out of your own way! As an entrepreneur or business leader, you might have too much confidence in yourself. It’s that confidence (coupled with serious drive and ambition) that got you into a leadership position, but those traits can also get in your way of making sound decisions for the business. Step back and reassess what is working for the business and what is not. Get feedback from other successful business leaders, and talk with your own employees to find out what they would improve. You can also hire a leadership coach to help you become more aware of your leadership strengths and weaknesses.
2. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
While you’ve had to make many important decisions (if not all), at some point, you must let go of control and start trusting others to make sound decisions. While your business probably started out very small, you’ve used your business knowledge and skills to grow and expand the company (and you’ve probably called all the shots along the way). Now, you’ve got to move into more of an influential role and out of a controlling role. You’ve hired solid people, so start developing their skills and give them the opportunity to grow.
3. Expand Your Vision
You’ve been involved in the day-to-day operations since the start. Now is the time to step out of that role and reassess your company’s future. Create a strategic vision about where you want your company to go in five, ten or fifteen years. Because you’ve delegated daily responsibilities to others, you’ll now have the time to outline both personal and professional goals. It’s absolutely necessary for the continued success of your business.
4. Encourage a Proactive Environment
If you’re completely dictating the culture around the workplace, your employees will simply follow along with your preferences; they won’t be inclined to speak up or provide honest feedback. Make sure your staff understands that you’re looking for their input – they need to be able to operate proactively, provide suggestions and maintain control over their responsibilities. Otherwise, they’ll just react to your demands without offering any honest input.
5. Never Stop Learning
You’re not the same as you were ten years ago – and neither are your leadership skills. The leadership knowledge you have previously mastered may not be entirely relevant in your current role. It’s imperative that you constantly learn and develop new leadership skills; invest in your own personal reinvention. Stay involved with your business community, mentor others or use a coach to help foster your leadership potential.
While you know your business best, there is always opportunity for growth. Mastering vital leadership skills and knowledge can help you achieve aggressive goals and attract top talent to your company. Though breaking old habits can be difficult, the rewards you’ll reap from expanding your knowledge will be exponential.
This guest article is by the University of Notre Dame which offers online leadership training courses that are designed to teach you effective leadership skills. The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of University of Notre Dame and do not necessarily reflect those of Goal Setting Guide.