Do you remember playing follow the leader when you were a kid?

As a kid, it was more about the teacher trying to minimize chaos in the classroom and less about teaching us about leadership. But today, we can definitely draw some leadership principles on how to lead our team into the right direction.

Most content pieces focus on what to do to be the leader; quite frankly it can sometimes seem a little self-centered. As it should, leadership lessons often focus on warm-and-fuzzy principles to be the best version of yourself.  Have you ever heard of a leadership lesson that focuses on what happens when you don’t lead people well?

Here are 6 Things To Avoid in Leadership.

  1. Not Having A Vision
    Most of us have read/heard the verse from Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
    When you don’t have vision, you will always be on the defense instead of offense.  It’s important to know where you are going, because it you don’t, not only will the people perish, but your organization will also perish. Next, you have to ask yourself, is this vision the right vision for our organization. Does it align with our mission statement, our core values, and our end objective?
  2. Not communicating that vision
    Here’s another verse to think about, “Then the Lord replied: ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” – Habakkuk 2:2
    Not only are you communicating your vision, but it’s important to write it down.  Your team members need to know the Why. It’s the basis for everything you do.Check out our friend, Simon Sinek, talk here about how great leaders inspire action with the core concept of Why.
  3. Lead by fear and not by virtue
    This is a big one.  Leading by fear will sometimes provoke an immediate reaction from your team, but it will always be that – a reaction.  An example of this is when you might say to a team member, “If you don’t do this right, you are fired.” or “We will making some cuts in the future, don’t be one of them.”  This is BIG NO-NO!  If this is you, just understand that you are harming your team and your organization.  Yes, it can seem easier at first to get production from someone, but you will always lose because your team members will always be reactive to fear.  Lead by virtue, not fear.
  4. Take the credit for successes and blame others for the failures.
    There is a rule that we have in our organization for our leadership team. If there is an interdepartmental success, then the leader needs to give credit to the team.  When there is an interdepartmental failure, the leader needs to take credit for that.  Why?  Because when you do this on a consistent basis, your team members will follow you until the end of time.
  5. Only Hire “Yes” Team Members.
    Let’s face it, no one wants push back or conflict.  However, you need to understand that conflict is good.  It’s really good.  Check out The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni if you haven’t already.  There are certain situations where you need things done immediately, and it helps to have a “go-to” guy/gal who can get the job done right away because they respect your leadership.  More often than not, however, you need to hire people who are convicted of things.  They have an argument and they are willing to push back on things as long as they know when to let go.  Why do you want people like this around you?  Because they care, and that is one of THE most important characteristics you need to have in your organization.
  6. Focus on your own success first and foremost
    For driven people, success is something that is always top-of-mind. It’s the underlying motive for almost everything.  Let’s face it, we certainly would rather be successful than unsuccessful. But, true success will come when you make others successful.  As a leader, our job is not to be the goal scorer, it is our job to coach and mentor the players so that they can be the goal scorer.  Focus on the success of others, and you will start to see a major transformation in your life, in your team members’ lives, and in your organization.

Leadership is hard to do when you are trying to do it the right way, but it’s ALWAYS worth it.  If you want to avoid major pitfalls, take note of the 6 things to avoid in leadership.

Ps. Part of leadership is knowing when to improve yourself and your organization, and we would like to help.  Could you use some help in delegating your social media or marketing efforts? Contact us directly here.

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