Some managers are great leaders and some aren’t. The day-to-day of tactics of running a business are a lot different from the broad strategic vision needed to grow a business.
I won’t get into all the differences between managers and leaders. That subject has been beat to death. Instead I will give you my top 10 things leaders should strive NOT to do when responsible for tactics and strategies. We all stumble into these bad habits at times. Recognize them, and don’t make the same mistake twice. Learning and growing is where the magic happens.
- Hoarding the information and having favorites. Be honest, reward results, and be transparent. Your people can smell dishonesty and favoritism 10 miles away. HONEST!
- Think one size fits all. You can’t teach a fish to fly (I know, I know—flying fish…Just stay with me please 🙂 People have things they are good at. Encourage and reward that. Don’t try to make people something they aren’t. Everyone has something to offer the team, or they wouldn’t be on the team. Help enhance their strengths.
- Not being consistent. This is the absolutely hardest one to do. As leaders we have to try to be the same coach when we win as we are when we lose. This is very tough, but the only way to let people feel comfortable enough to take the risks and chances needed to be the best.
- Taking the credit. All together now… It’s not about you anymore! It’s about the team. Give the credit out to the troops and stop being so damn needy for approval.
- Being moody. We all can be moody, but nothing destroys trust faster. Not knowing if you will bite off their heads when they ask a question is a great way for you to be left in the dark on the REAL important things.
- Not listening. It’s the same with your significant other, your kids, or your best friend. Take a deep breath and REALLY listen. I know your own voice has magical healing properties, but the next time someone wants to talk to you, don’t think about what you will say next, or that you need to pick up propane for a BBQ this weekend.
- Ego. There is some direct connection with the need to be wanted and loved and working your way up the ladder at work. Suck it up, let someone else have the credit, admit when you are wrong, and other smart people exist in the world. Smarter than you believe it or not.
- Gossip. Being part of it, or allowing it to fester. Nothing will kill an organization faster than gossip. It’s negative, most of the time not accurate, and takes the focus off the mission of the team…To win. Talk about ideas and ways to improve yourself, not if Sally is sleeping with Bob.
- Lack of growth/Education. We all should be enhancing our skills and growing daily. That means taking classes, reading books, and being open-minded. You don’t know it all, but you could get better every week. 2% educational growth a week makes you over 100% smarter in a year.
- Not taking action. Don’t over think the think, over do the do. Stop talking about it, researching it, and thinking about it…Just do it! Take an action and adjust along the way. Just like Patton told us (And kind of won a World War) “A good plan today is worth a perfect plan tomorrow”.
There are a lot more, but those are my top 10. I struggle with some daily, but I know what to look for, and how to adjust and learn from my mistakes. Lack of leadership is the top cause in EVERY poor and average team. Our teams get better when we get better