We all love success stories! Stories about people who have beat all the odds and have won the prize of doing something extraordinary with their lives. In the days of old, ballads would be sung of their successes. We, as leaders, may not be going for the rousing lusty ballad, or the cover of Newsweek magazine. We are looking to lead a group of people to accomplish a worthwhile goal. When the leader does it well, it can lead to some exceptional things.
Why does one leader accomplish so many great things, and another flounders along with their team? What are excellent leadership characteristics which make a strong leader versus a mediocre leader? I don’t think anyone takes a leadership role wanting to fail their team. I believe there are 9 things which can trip up a leader and get them traveling down the wrong path. If we have any of these things going against us, an adjustment of thinking and action can increase our good leadership qualities and we can become a stronger team leader.
Let’s take a brief look at these 9 things:
1. A ineffectual leader disengages from actively leading their team. Instead of having a participative leadership style, they become managers who study reports and relegate themselves to pushing paper.
2. They no longer have their finger on the pulse of their team. They become dictators and force their issues upon the team without regard to what is actually happening within the team.
3. They treat their team as if it was a democracy, wanting everyone’s input. They watch their poll numbers, so to speak, and can’t call the unpopular shots.
4. They make decisions based on individuals instead of the team. These decisions erode the teams well being.
5. They look out for only the well being of the leader, spiraling down into self servitude at the cost of the team. This includes making decisions by their own pocketbook and not for the good of the group.
6. They don’t reward the innovators. The leader believes they are the only ones with ideas worth pursuing.
7. They are jealous or intimidated by strong leaders on the team. They squelch leadership tendencies instead of rewarding them.
8. They are unable to use self discipline. An undisciplined leader can’t lead a disciplined team.
9. They have no idea what moves their team. They don’t know their individual team members goals and dreams. Most people will do extraordinary things for something or someone they hold dear to their hearts.
We, as leaders, may never have a ballad sung about us. But the ability to effectively lead a great team is an accomplishment. Avoiding the 9 pitfalls of leadership is a start to great team leadership.
Effective leaders always strive to learn more about leadership. Leave us a comment and let us know something you have found to be effective or something that doesn’t work. As John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
- Leadership & Teamwork (efficientmeetings.wordpress.com)
- What Team Leaders Need to know About Stress and Conflict (comprehension.prsa.org)
- The Measure of Leadership (linked2leadership.com)