We were not born knowing everything where we? We are expected to make leadership mistakes as we are always learning, or at least we should be if want to grow to be the best version of ourselves. Do you think it would be great if we got everything right on the first try? No. Because, if we don’t make any mistakes, we would never discover how to do it right.
Failure is critical for success, in business, in sales, in life. When we fail, we get a chance to learn from our mistakes and do better the next time around. We learn more about who we are, who those around us are, and how the world works. We become stronger. Getting the chance to learn from our leadership mistakes means getting the chance to find better solutions. But here is where we mess it up.
When we refuse to learn from our mistakes! That is when we get into real hot water and regress in both our learning and success.
When it comes to executive development, learning from leadership mistakes is one of the most powerful ways to grow. Leadership ‘blind spots’ is our greatest enemy and the biggest driver of poor leadership performance. Unfortunately, they are often not revealed until after you’ve made a mistake. Below are 6 Common Leadership Mistakes and How to Learn from Them. As once mistakes are made, it’s unlikely you’ll repeat them, and the insight gained will stay with you for the rest of your career.
MISTAKE 1: THINKING YOU CAN’T/WON’T FAIL
If you think you are not going to fail, you’re kidding yourself! Mistakes are inevitable. While you do your utmost to avoid them, they will happen. And the sooner you acknowledge that the sooner you will succeed. Failure is often considered the other “F” word in business. But it shouldn’t be. Failure isn’t an all-out loss, you can use failure to your advantage. Business tycoon and philanthropist, Warren Buffett has been known to say, he would not invest in any business where the owner hasn’t failed at least twice.
MISTAKE 2: FAILURE TO PLAN
The old adage sums it up precisely, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Even though many leaders inherently know the value of planning (and the risks when they don’t plan), some still resist investing the time upfront to do so. For some, it has a negative connotation because it implies a lot of time and work.
The first thing leaders must do is change their perceptions around planning. It doesn’t have to be something that takes a lot of time or effort—it can be relatively simple.
A basic plan should answer the following three questions:
- Where am I now?
- Where do I want to go?
- What steps will I take to get there?
MISTAKE 3: INABILITY TO EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE
The Quality of Our Communication is Measured by the Response that We Receive. As a Leader, if the customer or employee we have a relationship with does not understand us, don’t blame them. Think about the quality of your communication. Why don’t they understand you? Do you have the skills of effective communication? That is, quality questioning techniques to engage them, as well as active listening skills to build rapport.
Effective communication and effective leadership are closely intertwined. Leaders need to be skilled communicators in countless relationships. They need to think with clarity, express ideas, and share information with a multitude of audiences. You must learn to handle the rapid flows of information within your organisation, with customers, stakeholders and influencers.
MISTAKE 4: REFUSAL TO TRY NEW WAYS
Why be in leadership if you are not willing to disrupt the environment? Why take the leadership role of an organisation, when your intentions are to do things the way they have always been done. Many organisations suffer because they are held back by a stubborn leader that refuses to change.
You can never chart into new territory or discover new islands of paradise if you have a captain that keeps taking the vessel of business in the same direction. You will wear a hole in the carpet if you keep walking back and forth on the same path. If you don’t want to fail as a leader, then you must embrace change. Don’t be afraid to do something different. Disrupt the system, change the culture. Go in a different direction.
If you do what you have always done, you will be where you have already been.
Are you Traditional or Transitional Leader? The success of your organisation and those that follow you will always be the result of your ability to transition from one way of doing things to another.
MISTAKE 5: THE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
As leaders we keep pondering the universal question of how do we best engage with our people? Yet we neglect to really try and understand human behaviour. That is, what drives human action. We have mastered a skill, or managed a budget, but forgot about the most important asset in any business… its people.
A leader that doesn’t understand what drives human behaviour and human decision can easily fail. We ask questions as leaders like, how do we motivate employees and managers? Those questions are answered in our ability to understand what really drives human behaviour. Money is not a motivator. When we learn that appreciation, contribution, love, and significance are just a few of the intrinsic motivators, then we can truly become effective and influential leaders. The mindset of a leader must change. Until we are willing to master our skill set of understanding human behaviour and what drives it, we will never crack the code on employee engagement and manager motivation.
MISTAKE 6: CHOOSING ME OVER WE
You will often hear powerful leaders of successful organisations say “We” instead of “I” when talking about company projects and success.
Switching from singular “I” to the plural “we” helps shift your perspective from self-focused to others focused. It makes you more aware of the needs of others and, shows appreciation of a team effort, as well as individual recognition.
Get your Leadership team on a bespoke HBB Group Leaders of Tomorrow Workshop to avoid common leadership mistakes. This can be onsite or virtual and is all tailored to your team. Contact the Healthy Business Builder 1300 833 574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an exciting conversation.