When I train leaders it's often apparent that they have varying visions of what constitutes leadership. There are those that believe leadership is giving orders or getting things done single-handedly while others believe in teamwork and delegating. There's no right or wrong approach to leadership, but different actions lead to different results. Here are four things I've noticed tend to limit leaders' success.
- They can only do it their way. Leaders come in with one vision or one methodology that they follow regardless of outcome. This approach limits their ability to find new and more effective ways of doing things as well as using their employees' input.
- They don't use our employees' talents. People who come in with a single-minded vision often forget that they're sitting on a potential gold mine of talent and ideas. When leaders only use their own ideas and perspectives they limit their chances to do even more with the help of their employees.
- They don't praise. Many leaders simply give directives and then wait for things to be done to their satisfaction. The key here is that they focus only on getting things done rather than encouraging and praising employees along the way.
- They don't plan efficiently. Leaders often go in with plenty of good intentions but spend all their time putting out fires. This reactive approach to leadership ensures they will only focus on the latest emergency limits their ability to organize our workplace.
These practices aren't evil but they are representative of many of our workplaces. Leaders who address the issues we've talked about here not only find they increase their chances of success but they also enjoy their jobs more. What will you do to increase your leadership success?