Everyone makes mistakes, including leaders. That’s just human nature, and the nature of leadership at that. Even the best and brightest of us are bound to overlook things from time to time. The key is to learn from those mistakes so they don’t happen repeatedly, and so that you are able to grow as a leader and person.
Don’t Think You Know it All
You may think you’re the smartest person in the room – and maybe you often are. That said, even the best hitters in baseball strike out every now and again. Admit the possibility that you may be wrong, and if someone suggests that’s the case, at least hear them out. One of the biggest mistakes any leader can make is to be too stubborn to realize or admit to all the other mistakes they’re making.
A Failure to Communicate
Just as important as listening to suggestions of your fallibility is being able to communicate your vision. You might be right on an issue, but if you can’t effectively communicate how or why, or you can’t communicate politely and insightfully with colleagues, you’ll simply confuse and alienate them.
Being a Micromanager
There’s being committed, and then there’s being a micromanager. Not every last thing in the company requires your attention. Not only does this lead to leader burnout, but it can alienate employees who feel they’re being treated like children. Learn how to delegate tasks, and let some of your best and most experienced workers and managers under you have a bit of freedom in how they run things within your greater system.
Exhibiting Negative Emotions
Yoda’s now-famous edict “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” rings true in the business world. Being overly anxious or showing that you’re feeling the pressure of leadership by lashing out at others around you is a fast track to losing your employees’ hearts and minds.
It is okay to admit that you’re under pressure or overwhelmed from time to time. After all, we’re all human (well, except for Yoda). Doing so can even encourage other employees to share their feelings as well, which can be quite cathartic. Just be sure that you are doing so in a constructive, respectful, team- and company-building way.
With these tips, you’ll be able to make yourself into a better and more effective leader.