The presence of a leader is often instrumental to achieve success and having a leader with the right set skill is what every team hopes for.
As a leader, you are always in the spotlight and your attitude to leadership is one of the qualities constantly on the table for critique.
This does not mean a leader cannot falter. In fact, you can make mistakes, own your mistakes and retrace your steps. Doing this shows you are human.
However, there are certain mistakes that can unintentionally sabotage your leadership role, especially when it becomes an unending trend.
A leader expects to have a team that is loyal, supportive and result driven, but certain mistakes can further affect the team and all round productivity.
The question now is, how many leaders take time to look inward when trying to find a solution to an unmotivated / less productive team?
It is interesting to observe how different leaders react to little or no productivity. It is also disturbing that more leaders sabotage their leadership role just by how they react while in their line of duty.
In the words of Dr. Myles Monroe, Leadership has now become a role one plays rather than a life one leads. In other words, your ability to lead should reflect in your daily life/ activity and not just when you are at work or on a stage.
Leadership will never be about leading the team alone, it is about leading a life worthy of emulation, understanding the importance of setting a good example, the importance of team work and then making a final decision that leads the team to success.
Leadership is definitely not about position, power or privilege, neither is it an avenue to show superiority in the most untactful manner (which unfortunately has somewhat become the order of the day).
Having these in mind, here are 5 Mistakes that can sabotage your leadership role:
1. Not Asking For Feedback.
Popular opinion tells you that a leader should take the final decision, but does it remind you to ask your team for their contribution?
A leader cannot achieve alone. He/She needs the support of a willing team to attain success. In the same light, a leader may not always have the solution.
As a leader, seek insight on how to improve, be open to learning and to new experiences. This helps make you a more productive leader.
Communication is effective when it is two way and it is encouraged when you are working with a group of people who also intend to give value.
People like to know they have contributed to the success of a project and making it impossible for your team members to contribute stifles their creativity.
As a leader, do you give room for creativity?
2. Being Defensive After Feedback.
This is probably the trait that irks the most as it speeds up enmity in the system.
It is also the same reason subordinates or team members refuse to give honest feedback or contribute.
When you ask for feedback as a leader, your main aim should be to note points that should be addressed and find ways to implement new ideas.
The aim should not be to give opposing views or defend yourself in front of your team. It should also never be the time to take note of who is against your leadership skill or look for whose opinion suggests you are not doing well as a leader.
Acknowledge your shortcomings, evaluate your procedures and find ways to tackle issues mentioned. Adopt new methods if necessary.
Being defensive blinds you from seeing the possible solution because, you are already defending your actions before you even understand the suggestion.
3. Losing Control of Emotion.
A Leader who is known for quick temper and tantrums will end up being resented more than respected.
There is nothing that suggests weakness like not being able to control emotions in front of the people you lead.
This is one sure way to sabotage your leadership role and is a catalyst that speeds up contempt in a system. In other words, the leader starts to lose value before his/her team.
Self awareness is important here as you need it to master the art of remaining calm in dire situations.
As a leader, resist the temptation to respond immediately you are triggered. Banging on tables, cursing e.t.c are very unethical.
4. Not Being Open Minded.
A leader who is often closed minded and quick to make conclusions without seeking clarification will eventually disband the team he/she worked so hard to build.
Leadership requires clear understanding and failure to recognize the importance of individual opinion makes a leader ineffective.
A leader should understand the dangers of a single story and when there is conflict between teams, he/she must be discerning and listen to both sides.
Failure to be discerning can lead to a sabotage and sometimes, it might be initiated by a team member. As a leader, encourage those who do well without exactly discouraging those who have shortcomings.
5. Displaying Constant Traits of Perfectionism.
Being a perfectionist can sometimes delay the process of reaching your goal and also has the potential to sabotage your leadership role.
Some mental health advocates are of the school of thought that perfectionism is a form of OCD (Compulsive Obsessive Disorder), but we are not going that route in this post.
However, if your perfectionist traits are constantly getting in the way of your productivity, then your leadership role might be affected.
This can be managed if you are aware, but if you also fail to recognize when your need to be perfect goes overboard (especially when you exhibit these traits listed below), you just might be making it easy to sabotage your leadership role:
- Always rejecting people’s ideas without pointing out what can be done better.
- Never delegating and wanting to carry out every task by yourself.
- Always reacting badly to mistakes.
- Being sarcastic or cynical when correcting or proffering solution.
- Forcing your ideas on the team.
- Using every opportunity to arrogantly display your intellectual abilities.
Whether intentional or not, these behaviors have a way of looking down on the team’s effort, it demoralizes them and suggests they are incompetent.
According to Dr. Myles Monroe a Leader is any person with the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by passion, generated by a vision, produced by a conviction and ignited by a purpose.
There are no blue prints to being a good leader as each system is unique and should be handled as such, but it does not change the fact that leaders should have basic leadership skills.
Sometimes, the trick is to manage the team’s welfare, sometimes it’s in providing resources and other times, it’s in looking inwards to ensure you are capable of serving.
To look inward, you can:
- Give clear expectations but set boundaries.
- Realize the negative effects being defensive.
- Keep your stress level low.
- Manage your emotions.
- Pause before you talk.
- Be prepared and patient.
- Evaluate what triggers your mood.
- Manage your expectations.
- Always ask for what could be done better.
Have you worked with a defensive leader?
How do you manage a leader who has an obvious fault?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below