Day 565. Leadership can be learned. As there are positive leadership traits, there are deadly mistakes for any aspiring leader. Here are 5 that I consider the deadliest:
- Over committing, under delivering. A promise given is a promise delivered, or suffer the consequences! Yes, sh*t happens, and if it happens, give the bad news early. Always exceed expectations to build credibility and trust
- Speaking more than listening. We have two ears and one mouth, it’s to listen twice as much as we speak. Ask question, listen with fascination, and learn from others.
- Getting too much number focused and too little people focused. Yes, rule number one tells that the achievement of your metrics is important, but to exceed them, you need people. By focusing on people, numbers will take care partially of themselves. Never hide behind Excel, show yourself in front of others.
- Blaming others. Take your own responsibilities. Yes, a direct report may have f*cked up, but he/she’s your direct report and you are in charge. Take ownership, fix the issue, and ensure this will not happen again. Either we win or we learn, always by standing on our feet, not on others’.
- Making excuses. I am not sure it’s worse than blaming others or not, but making excuses is to me, like in the song: « It was not me! » You can say sorry, but only to accept the consequences of your mistakes. Excuses are useless and undermine credibility and trust. Ask yourself why you failed, what you learned, and what you’ve done. Once again, sit in the driver’s seat.
Leadership is hard, leadership is rewarding, and leadership is a choice, your choice. And remember, most mistakes are not fatal, you need to learn from them to avoid them. One last piece: if you working environment has leaders that expose those traits, leave! They are toxic. I know it’s easier said than done, however, it’s like drugs: short-term relief, long-term death!