Having the opportunity to lead a team is hugely rewarding. At the same time it can also be hugely challenging and even extremely frustrating. You think you are doing all the right things but are not getting the response or result that you want.
Yet so often when it comes to leading a team, there are many mistakes that are made over and over again. So how many of these mistakes are you making when it comes to leading a team?
Mistake 1: It’s All About You
Of course you are the person in the leadership role and without doubt you want to do it really well. There is nothing wrong with having this desire to do well. It can however be your downfall, especially if all of the focus is about you.
The reality is people want to know that you care about them. If you don’t, you can be absolutely sure that there will not be remotely interest in you and your aspirations to do well.
Mistake 2: Telling Rather Than Involving
Ever had the situation where someone told you what was going to happen and would not enter into any discussion? In those situations I guess you were not that motivated.
If you tell people what is going to happen but don’t involve them what is likely to happen is that they will give the impression they are going to do what you ask. In reality they will do what they want.
Mistake 3: Wanting To Have The Final Decision
Now there are going to be major decisions which you are going to want to have the final decision on. Most of the time the decisions are pretty routine and people can just get on and take them.
If on the other hand you want to have the final word on every decision, small or significant you become a blocker to progress and say to people indirectly that you don’t trust them.
Mistake 4: Talking Too Much
Some less experienced leaders think that the more they say the better. I am sure that we have all fallen into this trap at some point in our career.
The truth is the best leaders are those who master the skill of listening. I certainly worked with plenty of leaders who could speak well. Those that could listen well were much scarcer.
Mistake 5: Guessing What Motivates
A team is made up of individuals. Each of these individuals has different motivators. Most of the time those leading teams think they know what motivates individuals on the team. Very few ever take the time to really understand what motivates them.
By guessing what motivates people you are always going to struggle to get the very best from each and every member of the time. By taking time to find out what motivates others, you remove the guess work.
Mistake 6: Not Giving A The Team A Clear Purpose
It sounds really basic and you might think that this is not that common a problem. The reality is very different. Most teams will have a vague idea of what is required. If they are vague then they spend time and energy trying to figure out what is required.
By giving the team a clear purpose you remove vagueness and allow the team to get into action in order to deliver the desired result.
Mistake 7: Only Acknowledging Results
Of course it is all about results at the end of the day. Yet there will be times where despite a huge amount of commitment, effort and application by the team, the desired result is not achieved.
The poor leader will find fault and may even blame the team for failing to deliver. A good leader will acknowledge the efforts and create the opportunity to review, reflect and learn for the future.
Mistake 8: Overloading The Top Performers
You might have heard it said that if you want a job done, give it to a busy person. While this might seem like good advice, the risk you run is that end up overloading those people who deliver.
If you are not careful you can easily end up in a situation where the top performers get fed up carrying a disproportionate amount of the load and end up leaving.
The Bottom Line: Leading a team is tough. At the same time there are a lot of things that you can do in order to improve the results you achieve when leading teams.
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