5 Habits Every Leader Should Try to Keep at Bay
A Note From The Editor
Think your company has what it takes to make our Top Company Cultures list? Apply now.Apply now »
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
No one is a perfect leader but some leaders are definitely better than others. While there are some leaders who are role models for others, there are others who may have good business sense but don’t really make for the best leaders. And that could be a result of some things that they fail to do right or don’t do at all.
Here are the five terrible habits of a leader which they should avoid:
Having different benchmarks
A leader has to set a benchmark for his/her team to follow, but then you can’t have a different benchmark for yourself and a different one for the team. It ought to be a level playing field for all, including the leader.
For instance, many leaders set difficult targets for their team, while on the other hand, they may not even have set any targets for themselves, and if at all they do, they ensure that they are easily achievable.
Moreover, they fail to take any justifications from the team members if they fall short of meeting their targets while they themselves have innumerable excuses if they fail to deliver. It is very important to follow the same benchmarks that you’ve set for others in order to earn respect from them.
There are some managers who end up delegating everything and don’t take ownership for anything on themselves. That just makes it easier for them to pass the buck if anything goes wrong. If things go as planned, then they end up taking all the credit.
If you want to earn a good reputation in the team, delegate the work in a way that the team gets a chance to learn and grow. Supervise them well and don’t be hungry for credit, especially for something you have not done. Delegation is an important leadership skill and do it responsibly.
Low on appreciation and high on humiliation
In general, the human mindset is super critical. Everything good is taken for granted and not so good is criticized heavily, with little or no effort to improve it.
This mindset is deeply prevalent in the corporate culture. Managers and leaders fail to openly recognize efforts from an individual, almost taking them for granted, and spare no opportunity to point failures many a time in group meetings rather than having a one-to-one discussion.
This can do more harm than good to the individual and the team’s morale. On the other hand, positive reinforcement in the form of appreciation motivates others to outperform themselves and makes the work environment far more conducive for the employees to give their best in the interest of the company.
Giving targets to the team without any roadmap
If you are only talking big and providing big targets to your team without any roadmap on as to how it can be achieved, you are more of a politician than a leader. Politicians sell dreams while leaders sell the path to execution. I once worked for a CEO who wanted the company to go from $20 million to $100 million in five years.
He spent tons of money in internal branding and punch lines. The problem was that he had absolutely no clue as to how to realize his goal of making a $100 million company.
So everyone, from queen bee to worker bee, went into selling the rhetoric to the point that everyone started to believe that they could do this just by talking about it. No wonder that the company today is possibly 1/20th of what it was before.Someone has very rightly said, “A leader is one who demonstrates what’s possible”.
Unwillingness to Change
The business dynamics these days are changing faster than ever, outpacing most of the leader’s ability to learn and to unlearn. A leader should be quick enough to move ahead of the learning curve but many leaders are stuck in their past. They are not ready to unlearn the things that once proved useful to them but are obsolete in the current time.
They get trapped in the journey that can take them to a certain destination, but sans the new and better opportunities. It is, therefore, very important for a leader to have an open mindset and be receptive to people around them.
So, don’t be reluctant to acknowledge that at times your team can have better ideas than you. Break the biased and pre set attitude and style of working in order to grow your business extraordinarily.
To be an effective leader, one should try to introspect and identify the habits that are proving detrimental in their growth and coming in the way of their becoming an aspirational leader. After all, a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way, thus leaving little scope to fault.