There is no such thing as a perfect leader. No matter how experienced you are, there is always something you can learn about your leadership style that will help strengthen the working relationship between you and your employees. So, even if you have a healthy rapport with your team, don’t forget to step back from time-to-time to ensure you haven’t unknowingly developed any the following bad habits.
Big ideas, little follow-through
As a leader, you’re not only responsible for coming up with your company’s next big idea; you also have to build excitement for it among your employees. And, if you have a strong, motivated team, that shouldn’t be difficult. However, once you’ve built a consensus and everyone starts working toward making your ideas a reality, you have to be prepared to follow through to completion. It can be frustrating for employees to put in some serious elbow grease only to see a project fizzle out or never get implemented. Your team deserves to see the fruits of their labor and to have the opportunity to bask in the glory of a job well done.
Down-to-the-wire decision making
In contrary to the old saying, “deadlines are made to be broken,” highly motivated employees go to great lengths to ensure their work is delivered on time, every time. That’s why last minute decisions and changes in direction can really cause them a great deal of stress. Of course it happens from time-to-time, but as a leader it’s important to strive to iron out all the details and button up the loose ends as soon as possible on the projects your team is working on. Even if you know they can handle it, down-to-the-wire decision making often makes hard work that much more difficult.
Just along for the ride
Leaders should be ready to roll up their sleeves and dig in. Sure, on many projects you’re just there to provide your employees with some general guidance, but don’t underestimate the value of jumping in the trenches to show your team that you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty. It not only builds a stronger relationship with your employees, it will also affirm their confidence that you fully understand the scope of the project.
Not everything goes without saying, so it’s always a good idea to double check for understanding. If you’ve taken the time to build a strong, competent team, nine times out of ten, it won’t be necessary. But remember, it’s easy to get too comfortable with a high-performing team that needs little supervision, so don’t forget to maintain consistent communication. Nothing is more frustrating than having to start a project over from scratch because of mistakes that could have easily been avoided had you taken the time to be certain everyone is on the same page.
Most great leaders will tell you they are only as good as the people they lead. And, while that’s probably an accurate statement, it’s important to be sure you are doing all you can to create a working relationship that allows your employees to be their best.