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Three Leadership Mishaps And How To Avoid Them

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"There are many qualities that make a great leader. But having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader." Rudy Giuliani - Former New York Mayor

There's good news and bad news about being a leader. The good news is that good leaders can be made the bad news: bad leaders are hard to change.

There are five leadership mishaps that can sabotage the best efforts of any leader. The mishaps and how to avoid them are:

Mishap #1- Too much ego
Great leaders need egos a good leader does not eliminate their ego but instead recognizes when their ego is getting in the way of a wise decision that would benefit the company and the team. Signs of too much ego: defensive to input and ideas from others, belligerent or pushy with what they believe needs to be done, making a hasty decision without consulting anyone, taking full credit for team success and over sensitive or insecure about loyalty of team. How to avoid the trap of too much ego? Check in with yourself when feeling defensive or resistant to input and ideas. Ask yourself, "Why am I resisting this?" and "Is this about me?" Remember that leadership success is reliant on team output, recognize your success as a result of your team's success and contributions.

Mishap #2- Ignoring the Problem Employee
Leaders can often inherit an employee that had never been disciplined or dealt with because it was too much work or because others said, "This is the way he/she has always been" and the offending employee has gotten away with ill behavior. Not dealing with problem employees is one of the biggest de-motivators in the workplace. When the rest of the team sees that that person has always gotten away with poor behavior and has never been dealt with they become jaded and cynical. How to avoid this trap? Deal with unacceptable behavior as soon as it happens. Do not delay conversations or coaching opportunities to improve performance. Be courageous and take the steps needed to deal with this difficult issue.

Mishap #3- Underestimating the Power of Praise
The trait that most great leaders have is that of output. They are able to push through large amounts of work at great speed and effectiveness. Many leaders don't expect consistent praise themselves due to their driver type personalities. Study after study has shown that the simple act of consistent praise increases employee productivity, job satisfaction and loyalty to their leader. To avoid the trap of underestimating the power of praise consider the following: schedule in your Palm or Blackberry a special recognition moment of each week, take the time to personalize and specify the praise to the individual or to the team as a whole. If possible provide rewards for recognition of efforts such as taking the individual or team for lunch or give a gift certificate to Starbucks, Tim Horton's or a restaurant. Make a mental note to 'look for opportunities to praise' and set a personal daily goal to recognize at least one person a day.

These are a few mishaps that can sabotage even the best efforts in other areas of leadership. Attention to each of these will leverage the other things you do as a leader for increased results overall.


About the Author

Cheryl Cran, CSP President of Synthesis at Work Inc. works with organizations in significantly increasing productivity and profitability through communication strategies that improve employee performance, leverage team synergy and build extraordinary leaders. Many of Synthesis at Work's clients are award winning industry leaders. www.cherylcran.com


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-08-22 23:52:30 in Personal Articles

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