Leadership

4 Ways Leaders Kill Productivity

You may be holding your business back without even realizing it.
4 Ways Leaders Kill Productivity
Image credit: Thomas Barwick | Getty Images
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“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

As a business leader and a blogger, my level of productivity is greatly determined by the skills I possess and the various productivity tools I’ve acquired over the years. The same applies to all entrepreneurs of every stripe and color. It's important to constantly self-examine your progress. I do this by regularly asking myself the following questions.

  • How far have I come?
  • What got me to where I am today?
  • Am I really delivering as expected?
  • Do I find it difficult to keep up with expectations?

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

Too many business leaders fail to reach their full potential because they have an internal hold-back button and fail to take their fingers off of it. In this post, I'll identify four common struggles that you may not realize are holding you back and harming your business.

1. You're afraid to fail.

“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others” – Robert Louis Stevenson

You will fail and make mistakes a lot, as a business leader. The good news is it's a necessary part of the path to success because running a business isn’t a hurdle-free process.

When your mind is filled with thoughts of failure coming up with actionable strategies to help boost your business can be difficult, if not impossible.

You may ask yourself: But what if I lose my job or sink my business by making one wrong choice? And I'll say: Well, if your business dies as a result of inaction, you’ll be in the same boat. By not taking any risks, you'll never set yourself up for the rewards that success can bring.

According to the founder of iCustomLabel Nick Chachula, great leaders are good at taking risks, because they keep themselves open for the opportunities. They see around the corner, have their homework done and are upfront about taking a shot at the given opportunity.

2. You're too independent.

Yes, you’re the leader; therefore, you should have the power to single-handedly manage the business all by yourself, right? Wrong. No one has the ability to grow a business and increase all-around productivity without relying on others at times.

The truth is this - in running a successful business, the role of teamwork can’t be neglected. In the words of Ken Blanchard, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Getting ideas from various sources will help you make well-informed decisions and take calculated risks. It will also lead to a rise in your productivity because you’ll be able to spend more time on things you do well. To rise above the challenges, you'll need to kill the one man army mentality before it kills you.

Related: 10 Signs That You Suck As a Leader

3. You're too scared to make decisions.

“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.” – Jim Rohn

As a business leader, the decisions you make strongly determine outcome of your business, so I understand the pressure. I really do.

Having the buck stop at your table can get overwhelming. And making good decisions will help boost your productivity, almost as quickly as poor decisions will kill productivity.

According to French Entrepreneur Julien Labrousse, decisions must be made. And guess what: every leader struggles with a fear of making poor decisions at some point. One way to get over this fear is to seek counsel and delve into available data. This will give you the foundation you need in order to trust your gut instinct. It’s never a bad idea to gather information and professional opinions. Just don’t delay unnecessarily.

4. You're not humble.

"Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right." — Ezra Taft Benson

You just might be a great leader, but don’t forget that your team can always make you better. They may indirectly let you know when you’re taking the wrong steps. But leaders, who lacks humility, will tend to ignore any kind of constructive feedback.

Being a humble leader doesn’t mean accepting everything that your team says, but it does mean having a willingness to listen to the views of others, and give their suggestions fair consideration.

Related: How Thoughtful Leaders Earn Employee Loyalty

It also means giving credit where credit is due. It means recognizing and rewarding the efforts of your team. Acknowledging the contributions of others is a great way to foster humility, and encourage positive results from your team.

Businesses often reflect its leaders, which is why you should work on developing traits that make you a good business leader and killing those that are harming you and your business.