Avoid These 8 Mistakes as a New Leader
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It’s not uncommon for new leaders to make mistakes, but I argue that some of these can be avoided.
Below are 8 of those mistakes and how to avoid them:
1. Thinking you need to make every decision.
Trying to make every decision will only turn you into a micro-manager. Strong leaders know there are numerous decisions that can be made just as well by others, and there’s no better way to allow others to develop their leadership skills than by letting them make decisions.
2. Thinking you know everything.
Regardless of how smart you may think you are, nobody wants to work for (or be led by) someone who comes across as a “know-it-all.” Strong leaders know there is always more to learn, and they actively seek out new things to learn each day.
3. Failing to realize you’re being watched even when you’re not being watched.
Leaders are leaders 24/7, and one of the easiest ways to undermine your ability to lead is by being one person while leading and a different person at other times.
4. Failing to realize that it is not about you, it’s about the team.
There is no need for a leader if there is no one to lead. The measurement of a team is best seen in the sum of the results of the people. If the results are greater as a team than they are individually, then the leader is doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
5. Not realizing how quickly what you say or do can and often will be misinterpreted.
Regardless of how well you may think you communicate something, it still needs to be verified. Nothing will sink a new leader faster than being misinterpreted. Remember, it’s not just words that can be misinterpreted; your actions as a leader are under just as much scrutiny.
6. Being afraid to lead when it’s time to lead.
Anyone can lead when things are good. It’s when times are rough is when leadership is needed. Don’t be afraid to stand up and make the tough call. You’ll earn more respect for making the tough decision, regardless if it is ultimately right or wrong, than you will for shirking your responsibilities and not leading at all.
7. Not realizing the most important thing is what happens when you’re not present.
This is all about developing people who do the right thing, regardless of whether you are around. Great leaders can step away from an organization and there is zero reduction in the performance of the team.
8. Finally, for those of you leading a sales team, let’s not forget the biggest problem new sales leaders make is they try to lead the customer.
Your job as a sales leader is to lead your people, not the customer. You lead your people so they can lead their customer. If you attempt to lead the customer, you will undermine the salesperson, and the customer will turn to you for answers rather than the salesperson.