Following on from last week’s post on ‘How to be an effective small business leader‘, this article looks at the 5 crucial mistakes that bad leaders make.
Understandably, we all want to be good leaders and with practice, many of us can become good leaders, even great leaders.
However, it takes time and effort as leaders are made, they are not born.
The road to being a great leader has many twists and turns, so before we dive into how to become one, let’s take a close look at what not to become.
Here are 5 major mistakes that bad leaders make.
History will tell us that the blame game has been going on for quite some time.
“Men are only clever at shifting blame from their own shoulders to those of others.” -Titus Livius (59 BC–17 AD).
In society today it is no different. Portraying ourselves as being blameless while we point our fingers in the direction of someone else, seems to be the norm.
Unfortunately, this condition is common practice. It is bad enough to have this happen but even worse when it comes from someone who has a profile, such as a leader.
The act of shifting the blame to someone else shows a complete disregard for honesty.
In their attempt to avoid looking weak or stupid, in light of their actions they do look weak and stupid to others for their actions.
There is no escaping it, casting blame on others to avoid your own public criticism is a real leader killer.
People will turn away from you and you risk everything you have worked hard to obtain, such as your reputation as someone who can be trusted to lead.
Another leadership killer is showing stress.
No one wants to put their faith and trust into someone who falls apart from stress during a crisis.
The fact is that not only do you show others that you are stressed, but they also become your victim and they, in turn, become stressed out themselves.
Being a leader has the expectation that you can be calm during a crisis and act in a reassuring and positive way. When you let stress show emotionally you raise the stress and anxiety meter off the chart.
Slow down, regroup, understand why you are or what you are overreacting to, and then deal with it.
Showing that you are stressed out just brings a sense of helplessness to people around you that are already feeling anxious.
Reduce your stress and theirs by providing a solution.
Deliver that solution with empathy and a strong feeling of optimism.
Provide them with a way they can be part of the solution.
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” Proverbs 16;32.
If you take a closer view at these words, you will detect the fact that getting angry quickly leads to weakness and destruction.
From a leadership perspective, you need to realize that showing anger will certainly cause hurt to someone. If you show anger to someone who trusts you, you most definitely run the risk of losing that trust. If you take that one step further and others see you angry, you may lose their trust as well.
Anger is a very complex emotion.
As a leader, you need to understand where anger really comes from. The causes of anger stem from sadness, jealousy, ego, fear, pride and not just the issue at hand.
If you are a leader who is quick to anger, it is imperative to get a hand on it before it becomes volatile. Remember if you add the letter “d” to the front of the word anger you will be made aware of your circumstances.
Great leaders inspire us with positive emotions, bad leaders destroy us with negative emotions.
When you say the word ‘micro-manage’ you are now talking about a leadership style and not an emotion.
The message that you are transferring to your people is that you do not have enough trust in them to work independently and at a high level. In fact, it has been said that micromanaging can create a very toxic environment causing a high stress level, and poor performance.
Your leadership can certainly erode if you do not show trust in the people around you. It can annoy them to the point of quitting.
It is your job to focus on the big picture and allow people whom you lead to be independent and use their talents to strengthen that big picture.
Anything less than that will lead to a very tenuous leadership.
Ok, I know that this one really hurts but the truth is that your appearance really affects the way people look at you as a leader.
Is it right? Is it fair? Well, you can decide that. All we know is that it does matter.
If you look scruffy and out of sorts, people will not relate that with leadership. Like it or not that is the case.
The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, certainly believes this as he spent a total of $31,000.00 employing his own make-up professional so he could look his best during a recent schedule of public appearances.
You don’t have to be “good looking”, but you have to be looking good!
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