You wanna be a great leader, right? But are you unknowingly guilty of these dumb ways to earn a D in leadership?
Here are five extremely common bad habits to be aware of and intentionally avoid:
1. Disregard your team’s areas of expertise.
Doesn’t matter if they’re actually good at stuff you don’t understand, if you overrule them to gain control, you will make them feel frustrated, useless, and without purpose. Avoid this by being humble enough to sit back and listen to their ideas and suggestions, especially in areas where they excel and you’re not an expert.
2. Doubt your team’s ability.
If you create an environment of doubt in their ability, and skepticism toward their sincerity, your entire team culture will turn toxic. If you hire poorly, this will be harder to avoid. If you hire for character and skill, then it will be easier. Once you have good people in place, trust them. Give them space to grow, room to succeed, freedom to fail.
3. Diminish your team’s sense of accomplishment.
The quickest way to do this is to hog credit rather than sharing it. Instead, try giving credit where it is earned, and refusing to allow team members to take responsibility for something they didn’t do. Model an atmosphere where humility is valued, and no one grabs glory for themselves.
4. Devalue your team’s greater purpose.
Start by making them each feel isolated in their own compartment, and before long none of them will grasp the big picture. Or you can take the opposite approach – one of transparency and communication. Show your team members how they each fit into the greater purpose. Give them ownership over the driving reasons why you do what you do, and foster deep, lasting loyalty.
5. Destroy your team’s feeling of trust.
If you allow yourself to participate or enable gossip, backstabbing, jealousy, and power plays — you’ll absolutely end up with a team that can’t stop protecting themselves long enough to build trust. Without trust, you’ll have constant turnover, frustrations and toxic dynamics that will stand in the way of performance and progress.
Sarah offers a free Values Discovery worksheet to discover and articulate your core values here.