Mistakes to Avoid as a New Leader Part 2
More Not So Bloody Lessons for Leadership
Last week’s post was part one of mistakes to avoid as a new leader. But there are plenty more things to avoid. So, let us discuss more mistakes to avoid as a new leader.
1. Lead from Afar: Some new leaders think they need to do so from a distance and lack presence. They deliver orders and commands to the team but never check-in or see how it is going with the team simply waiting for results. While a self-driven team is something many leaders strive for, they still require your support and presence. You need to be watching out for the things they cannot see, communicating to them regularly, and supporting them when they encounter struggles.
2. Cannot Let Go: Often new leaders were promoted from a more hands-on job. Just because someone is a good developer or artist does not always mean they will be good at leading a team but that aside it is oftentimes hard for someone to fully let go of what or how they did things before. Being a leader means you oftentimes, especially as you grow as a leader, are not able to do the work yourself. They urge to do it yourself though because it would be faster, easier or you are the only one who can do something you will need to learn to let go. You will need to delegate. Please do not micromanage. Nobody enjoys that.
3. Act like a Buddy Instead of a Leader: You can be friendly with your team, but you do not have to be their friend. I have worked with bosses who never wanted to be the bad guy and everyone’s friend, so they got other people to do what they considered the dirty work (discipline, bad news, firing). It is not dirty work it is what comes with taking responsibility as a leader for the decisions you made and need to take ownership of. The other side of this is oftentimes it confuses your employees, and they will push the boundaries of your relationship to see what they can get away with because you are their “friend”. Try to find the balance of genuinely caring for your team but maintain the boundaries that are needed to have those tough talks.
4.Do Not Listen to Feedback: Chances are you will have a boss, mentor, or peer in your job. If you are doing something wrong, they very well will let you know. Preferably you are seeking feedback on how to do better but if this feedback comes to you unsolicited all the more reason to heed their words. Many new leaders think they know better or just ignore the words of advice and end up making things worse. We should always be learning no matter where we are in our career but especially when we are new.
Remember you were promoted or hired for the leadership role you have because someone believed in you to do the job. Learn what you don’t know, grow in experience and stumble but don’t fall. Everyone makes mistakes and the key is not to repeat them. Anyone can be a leader, but leadership isn’t for everyone and that is ok too. If leadership is something you truly enjoy learn everything you can about it. If it isn’t pursue what you do enjoy instead.
There you have 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!