10 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Leading or Managing

I don’t know about you but I learn a whole lot more from the times that things don’t work out as well as they could than I do when it all goes smoothly.

The truth is leading and managing presents many challenges.

Sometimes we try something in one situation and it works perfectly. We try exactly the same thing in another situation and it all goes wrong. Perhaps that is part of the attraction of leading and managing.

At the same time there are some mistakes that leaders and managers are making all of the time that hinder their success. Here are 10 of the most common.

1. Not engaging their team

If you are going to get the buy-in and support of others, you need to get them engaged. Study after study shows that the more engaged individuals are the better the team and organisational performance. So how do you engage people? You involve them, seek out their ideas and contributions and act on them.

2. Trying to do too much

I know that you are highly competent at doing things. You may well get a real kick out of delivering projects or achieving deadlines. On the other hand if you are trying to do too much you are probably delivering everything to a mediocre level.

3. Not leveraging the talents of their people

People are our greatest assets state a number of leaders and managers. They are probably right. On the other hand if leaders and managers are stopping people performing at their optimal level, they are not leveraging the talents of their greatest assets.

4. Wanting to take the glory

Of course you take a lot of risk as a leader or manager and you deserve praise when things go well. On the other hand if you always take all of the gory, people become de-motivated and don’t give their best. Make a habit of recognising the contributions of others.

5. Disempowering people

By this I mean being a control freak, failing to trust and delegate to others.

6. Expecting everyone to be like them

You might be someone who loves their work and loves continuous challenge. On the other hand if you expect everyone to be like you, chances are in you are in for a shock. Different people have different desires and motivators. Your job as the leader and manager is to find out what it is that makes others tick.

7. Relying on seniority

Maybe in the distance past leaders and managers could rely on seniority and status to get respect. This is no longer the case and it does not matter how senior you are, respect needs to be earned.

8. Being unwilling to admit they don’t know something

Just because you are the leader or manager, it does not mean that you need to be the fountain of knowledge on everything. Good leaders and managers recognise this and are happy to seek support from others when necessary.

9. Failing to give feedback

If there is one thing people want more of from leaders and managers it’s feedback.

10. Failing to be consistent

One of the most difficult things to deal with is a leader or manager who is inconsistent. Of course it can be hard to do but try to be as consistent as you can.

The Bottom Line: Leading and managing is an ongoing learning process and you need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date.

Duncan Brodie helps accountants to become effective managers and leaders in order to build successful careers.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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