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The 5 habits that (believe it or not) make you a lousy leader

These attitudes separate you from your collaborators and undermine your leadership ability. We tell you how to identify them.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This article was updated on August 12, 2021

It does not matter if you are an entrepreneur, supervisor or director of a team within your company, your leadership skills will determine your professional success or failure. As a leader, you can set a course of action for you to reach a goal and inspire a team to work hard towards a goal, but if you fail, you can affect the direction of all your subordinates.

It is very common for bad habits to affect leadership. We fall victim to routine and stop being exceptional. These are the worst attitudes that affect your ability to lead.

1. You isolate yourself

There are many ways to withdraw from others when you are a leader , and none of them are good. You can physically separate yourself by choosing a separate office for your team; mentally by working on different projects and emotionally by being unapproachable.

In any case, isolating yourself causes two kinds of damage: First, it creates resentment. When you distance yourself from others, an “us versus them” attitude is generated that shows you as a separate member of a team. Second, it takes you away from the work that is actually being done, limiting your ability to lead .

2. Put a fixed address

Having a plan of action is very good, in fact, it is what good leaders do. But having too rigid a leadership can undermine your credibility and leadership ability. Managers often get caught up in the idea that they are solely responsible for the results of a project, and, in an effort to have some control, create strict strategies for their teams to execute.

Implementing a plan without consulting with your collaborators can cause you to lose key ideas that could help you find better solutions. You also generate resentment and demotivation in your subordinates, which leads to less productivity and bad ideas. Similarly, if you have too rigid a plan, you lose the ability to adapt when circumstances call for it. Flexibility is always good in a changing market.

3. Focus only on the day to day

There are two ways leaders focus too much on the daily routine: the first is personally and the second as a supervisor. In the first case, if you spend too much time worrying about small slopes, you will never have room to think about the problems that you have to face as a group. As a result, you will never be able to reflect, change or even set a direction to achieve new initiatives. Delegate some responsibilities if you really start to feel overwhelmed.

As a supervisor, focusing too much on the activities of your colleagues is also problematic. It makes you a micromanager and that can irritate and disturb your employees' work rhythms. Find people you can trust to have on your team and you will really stop working.

4. Make excuses

Be careful: it is not the same as finding the problem of origin, in fact, discovering the cause of a problem and eliminating it is something that as a leader you must do. On the contrary, making excuses is a cheap and lazy way to resolve a situation since you attribute the outcome of an event to an uncontrollable factor and thus remove the need for further investigation.

5. Working too hard

Many leaders carry their teams on their shoulders by working long hours without a break. Although these types of actions can help you with deadlines, it eventually destroys your leadership skills.

Lack of sleep reduces your ability to concentrate and even your health. Working tirelessly takes away the opportunity to relieve yourself of stress and makes you more irritable and less productive. Take your time and you and your team will be happier.

If you start showing any of these bad habits, work to eliminate them as soon as possible. Change direction and give strength to the attitudes contrary to these bad attitudes that make you a good leader. Your employees will follow your example and be more efficient and productive in their own right.  

Larry Alton

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Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.