Everyone wants to be a leader. However, most leaders are too busy assuming they are doing everything right to stop and ask themselves what are they doing wrong. These are 5 of the most overlooked pitfalls standing between you and effective leadership.
Have you ever wondered why a certain person or department is holding up the progress of your plans? I have. It was only until I stepped back and did a little self-inventory that I discovered why.
I was standing in the way of my own progress. Many leaders possess incredible leadership skills and implement all 6 traits of good leadership yet still struggle to achieve results. When searching for an answer to the problem, it is helpful to begin by looking in the mirror. Are you falling into any of these 5 pitfalls of effective leadership?
Lack of I – Nothing will hold a leader back quicker than the lack of the word “I.” Holding yourself accountable for the failures within your organization is a critical key to success in leadership. “The Buck Stops Here” was Harry Truman’s famous saying. Holding himself accountable, before pointing the finger at others, lead him to great success. Michael Hyatt has a great post on accountability and how it relates to effective leadership.
Overcommitting – Leaders love to take the reins and lead their followers to the promise land. But what happens when they take on too much? They fail. Failure as a leader kills credibility and squanders the wins you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Begin by focusing on what is critical and cutting out what can either wait, or be delegated to others.
Rudeness – You may be in charge, but you still have to earn the right to boss people around. Check out John C. Maxwell’s The 5 Levels of Leadership. What level are you on with your employees? I witnessed rudeness today from a manager at my organization. I watch as the employee’s moral sunk like a rock. His production was immediately cut in half as he had lost the will to work. I had to show that I personally cared about him and would not tolerate rudeness in the workplace. After this, his productivity surpassed its previous level. Rudeness is a killer of output.
Failure to Plan – If you fail to plan, you’ve planned to fail. I have been a victim of failing to plan in the past. When you’re in the heat of the moment working toward an end you lose sight sometimes of the hazards that may lie ahead. If you do not have a clear road map from point A to point B to point C and so on, you won’t make it very far.
Lack of Appreciation – There’s a paycheck and then there’s love. At some point with every employee the paycheck doesn’t matter anymore. Money will only take an employee so far. They will only give you what you’ve purchased. That extra mile that means the difference between success and failure as a leader is fueled by appreciation. It is the intrinsic reward that the employee needs to surpass expectations.
I have met many talented and smart leaders who I see struggling to achieve results. They often point the blame on others and ignore their own shortcomings. It’s difficult to take honest self-inventory and then turn around and act on it for the better. I encourage you today to take a few moments and ask yourself, are you in violation of any of these 5 pitfalls of effective leadership?
How will you ensure you don’t fall into any of these traps?