A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. ~Douglas McArthur
A lot of people would tell you that a boss and a leader are similar. In essence, they can be as they would serve as the team’s primary supervisor, instigating projects and overseeing results. But those are about it as far as the parallels go.
Though the similarities can hardly be missed, it would also hold true that you can never be an effective boss without good leadership skills. In fact, one glaring distinction between a boss and a leader is that a boss can be rather exacting with your work results. A leader, on the other hand, would give you hints and tiny tidbits of encouragement that would generate better outcomes.
Much of the success and failure of a company or a business venture depends on the style of leadership. It plays a very pivotal role in the triumphs of the business and would contribute to its downfall. This is because a team would be more effective if they were unified and spearheaded by a leader with exemplary leadership skills.
This is that person who drives the team to engender excellent results, that one person who would take the team by the reins, inspire and encourage them in producing better outcomes.
In the initial stages of the business, a good leader should inspire dedication and instill a deep commitment from their employees or they would risk alienating them for good—even the best and most effective ones in a team. During the last stages of an immense organization, it is the leader’s responsibility to set an appropriate tone for the organization and keep everyone in his team aligned under a cohesive vision.
Regardless of what business you are in or whether you are a retail giant or an up and coming digital marketing agency, your abilities or your habits as a leader will have an impact on your team’s results.
You need to steer clear from the below habits if you want to remain the best and effective leader of your team.
Seven of the most damaging and toxic habits
As team leaders who would oversee a particular team’s work, it can be rather difficult to keep ourselves from micromanaging—most especially if we want things done a certain way. This troublesome habit can be rather insidious as well as it sets in before you would even realize that is happening.
It could start out simply by guiding your employees through specific processes you would like them to integrate into their work techniques. But without your notice, it would escalate to an extent wherein you are interfering with almost every aspect of your employee’s jobs.
In essence, you are no longer guiding you employees but performing their jobs for them. This bad habit insinuates your lack of faith in your employees’ abilities. You hired them for a reason, so trust them enough to do it and take a step back.
You would also be dominating the workforce and as a result, you are stifling creative innovation by having them do things your way. Lastly, you are wasting your very own time and energy which could be used in far more productive things.
2) Neglecting an individual
An effective leader utilizes various and diverse approaches when it comes to managing an entire workforce. Using a singular approach whether you are managing two or three hundred and applying blanket strategy for all of them would render your leadership ineffective.
Remember, your employees are and eclectic mix of different and dynamic people, a leadership style that would for one may not necessarily hold true for the other.They all have different needs in a workplace and the best way to bring out their potential is to address those very same needs.
What you can do instead is establish some common fundamental rules, processes and brand standards which could be your company’s protocol. Find out what your employees like and dislike and learn how they would work best.
3) Using negative reinforcement
Though said with the best interests in mind and borne without malice, negative reinforcement is universally destructive.
Understandably, there would be times wherein a negative feedback would be an appropriate and necessary. Remember, however, that too much of these can breed resentment in your employees—most especially if this is your primary motivation technique.
Instead, offer criticism with care. Should they make a mistake, point it out but do not dwell on it. Instead of repeatedly chastising them, offer solutions where future efforts can be more effective.
4) Being inflexible
Part of being a good leader is being flexible to new ideas as well as new options. Additionally, this will help you make good decisions and maximize your employees’ happiness and satisfaction level.
Hear their opinions, be willing to bend a few or your rules. This will make you a leader that is generally seen as someone they can approach and reasonable which would make them feel motivated happy and flexible.
Incorporate flexibility into your leadership style and make your employees feel like they can approach you for their concerns.
5) Public display of power
Though being a leader would necessarily place you in a position of power, this does not mean that your employees have to put you on a pedestal and you should never expect them to. This also means that you should not display your power recklessly or publicly as this will deconstruct the team environment and breed resentment.
Publicly firing, belittling or ordering someone around would make you seem like you are power tripping and make you look petty. Show respect to your employees by doing these things privately. You may be paying your employees but it is important to recognize their dignity too.
Being aware of these habits is the initial step towards being a good leader, but the battle is not yet done. Should you realize that you are committing any of these five errors in your leadership approach, then take the necessary remedial action by modifying those habits and replacing them with better and positive alternatives.
Though being a great leader to your employees may seem like an intimidating and difficult task, it is nonetheless very much achievable. Take it day by day and surely, your endeavors would be rewarded.