Being a leader when you are on the outside looking in might seem like it is pretty straightforward.
Yet leading is one of those areas where there is a huge difference between perception and reality.
Now I am sure that you want to do your very best as a leader. At the same time you will make mistakes from time to time. In fact if you are never making any mistakes you are probably playing it safe.
There are however certain things you want to avoid as a leader, and here is my top ten.
Being A Bully
Of course you want to challenge your people and bring out the very best in them. However being a bully or putting excessive and unreasonable demands on others is not a good trait for success as a leader.
Having To Be Right
Leading is really not about you. It’s you ability to bring out the best in others that sets you apart from everyone else. Confident leaders know that they are not the expert in everything.
Ignoring What Needs Attention
No organisation is perfect. There are always going to be challenges that need to be tackled and resolved. Sticking your head in the sand does not achieve anything. It just means that small issues can easily escalate into bigger problems. It also results in people losing confidence in you.
Compromising On Integrity
There might be many temptations put in front of you. If you are clear that integrity really matters then temptations are all they will ever be.
Passing the Buck
You are paid and rewarded well as a leader. With this reward comes responsibility. Accept this and don’t pass the buck when things go wrong.
Talking Too Much and Listening Too Little
We were all given two ears and one mouth. Yet we can easily become so obsessed with getting our point across that we fail to listen. Being a great listener will set you apart as a leader.
Focusing On You
Whether you like to admit it or not, the minute you start to focus on you and not on what you are expected to deliver, you are on the slippery slope. You will stop taking decisions in the interest of the organisation and start to take decisions based on what is best for the organisation.
Telling and Expecting
There is a place for a telling style of leadership, usually in cases of real emergency. On the other hand simply telling and expe4cting people to respond is rarely a good long term strategy.
It is tempting to favour people just like you. Trouble is you isolate others. Aim to treat everyone professionally as a minimum.
Over Promising and Under Delivering
Leaders are judged on results. Don’t set up yourself to fail by over promising and under delivering.
In summary since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them achieve career success and become better leaders and presenters. 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.