Mistakes to Avoid as a New Leader Part 1
Not So Bloody Lessons for Leadership
Contrary to some beliefs none of us are born naked, screaming, and covered in blood into this world ready to lead teams. Not even me. Everyone has that moment as a new leader. But that does not mean you need to walk into that experience unprepared. In fact, the better prepared you are the less likely you will end up naked, screaming, and covered in blood again. So, let us discuss mistakes to avoid as a new leader
1. Have All the Answers: Many new leaders believe they need to have all the answers. A good leader does not have all the answers. A good leader has access to all the answers. A great leader surrounds themselves with knowledgeable people who supplement the knowledge they do not possess. In time with experience leaders will know more but more importantly will know who and how to get the answers from faster. You have a team for a reason.
2. Don’t say No: A lot of brand-new leaders and even not-so-new leaders have trouble saying no or falling back to the last point “I don’t know.” The need to impress others and not disappoint means many of them agree to things they cannot deliver on or have no idea about. Instead of taking the time to check with their team and see what is doable they instead make promises on impossible tasks or delivery dates. This just sets up your team for failure and disappointment. Worse it means you will be overpromising and underdelivering too. I believe strongly in credibility and this damages yours on multiple fronts. Take the time to be better informed and start off by underpromising and overdelivering to build a good reputation.
3. Change Things Right Away: The desire to make an impact for new leaders is real and somewhat understandable. Instead of taking a moment to get a lay of the land and seeing what the team or company needs many new leaders instead make changes they think will impress others without knowing or seeing what needs to change or even better yet not change. Sometimes leaders are just brought in to keep the status quo and that is ok. Look for low-hanging fruit for wins instead by learning from your boss, direct reports, and your own observations. Do not Assume.
Tune in next week for more mistakes to avoid as a new leader. Looking for more information as a new leader? Join my Essential Leadership Skills Masterclass or connect with a group of like-minded leaders with my Leadership Mastermind program!