You’re a leader in many ways. If you’re a parent, you’re leading your kids. When you’re friends come to you for advice, you’re leading your friends. If you’re a “sole-preneur”, you’re leading yourself. When you’re an executive or business owner, you’re leading your team.
Many roles in life involve some type of leadership. You might be surprised by how easily your actions can impact others. Considering the many leadership positions you are in, and the huge impact leadership has on others, I invite you to strive to be the best leader you can be.
It’s easy to unknowingly make leadership mistakes. These mistakes can undermine your credibility and effectiveness.
Take a look at these leadership errors and how to correct them:
1. Avoiding the truth. Avoiding the truth is one of the worst leadership missteps. The minute you start lying or not sharing the whole truth you set yourself up for a fall. You’ll eventually lose the trust of those who matter to you. If they’re unable to believe what you say, how can you expect to lead them successfully?
- At all costs, tell the truth. It doesn’t matter if it makes you unpopular. Popularity doesn’t usually win races or battles. Be truthful so you can be respected and trusted as a leader.
- Be aware of your timing. Choose an appropriate time and place to be truthful with someone, especially if you’re saying something upsetting.
2. Refusing to take your own advice. It’s awkward to give advice that you aren’t taking! Those you lead will see that as disingenuous. They’ll start questioning your character if you’re doing the opposite of what you’re telling them to do. Practice what you preach!
- Leading by example is one of the most powerful leadership skills you can practice! It shows that you fully believe in what you profess. It allows others to see that you’re genuine and trustworthy.
- If you’re unsure about the advice you’re giving, avoid giving it! If it isn’t good enough for you to take, dishing it out to somebody else doesn’t make sense.
3. Compromising your values. Leaders have solid values that direct their decisions and behavior. Your inability or lack of desire to uphold your values makes it appear as if you lack integrity. If that’s the case, you’ll have a hard time getting people to rely on you.
- Take a look in the mirror and define what matters to you. What do you value most? Is it hard work? Is it honesty? Whatever it is, look yourself in the eye and commit.
- Each morning, promise yourself that you’ll live according to your values. You’ll find that you won’t even need to tell anybody what those values are. People will know what you stand for by just observing your actions
4. Failing to teach the tough lessons. Tough lessons are an important part of effective leadership. It isn’t enough to tell those you lead what they want to hear. Failing to teach tough lessons essentially makes you look like a pushover. Good luck getting any kind of cooperation after that.
- Sometimes it’s necessary to tell others how you feel. It isn’t necessary to worry about hurting their feelings. If they recognize you’re coming from an honest place, they’ll accept and respect your candidness.
5. Failing to apologize. Leaders are human beings who make mistakes. “When you mess up, you need to fess up and dress up”.
- Acknowledge your mistakes, take ownership and fix them. When you make amends and put effort into not repeating the mistake, you’ll earn respect and loyalty from those around you.
I invite you step into your leadership, powerfully! Embrace your leadership traits now, because sooner or later you’ll be faced with applying them. You want to be ready, so you can easily lead others in a positive direction when the time comes.