It is difficult to be an effective leader guiding a team to success. A leader can unknowingly sabotage a team’s success by his/her actions or inaction. Here are 7 watch-outs for leaders.
1. Not holding team members accountable.
This is often wrongfully mistaken for micromanaging. If no one is accountable in an organization there quickly becomes no organization to be accountable to. People make a commitment to work and it is a leader’s role to hold people to meeting that expectation.
2. Not effectively delegating.
Leaders that find they are always too busy might be taking on too much thus creating a bottleneck. Delegating work, responsibility, or authority to others can improve the success of the team and free up needed time on the leader’s calendar. Many find delegating difficult so here is a simple guide to help.
- When you are not skilled at something find someone on the team that is.
- Someone can do it better. No one is great at everything. Wouldn’t the team be better off to have the best person for any given task?
- No passion for it. Someone else more passionate about a task will typically do it justice.
- No time. Leaders tend to take on more than they have time for in an effort to be helpful. This causes overworked leaders and slows the team’s progress. Prioritize the work and give up what there is no time for.
3. Withholding constructive feedback.
Respectful, authentic, and constructive feedback helps make ideas better. Throw away the notion that giving feedback is an attempt at command and control. There is nothing further from the truth. Team members and the team grow when receiving constructive feedback.
4. Forgetting to lead by example.
Talk about being under a microscope! Leaders’ behaviors are contagious across an organization and particularly within their own team. A leader’s behavior will be imitated. The leader can start by holding him/herself to the same standards set for the team. Seek feedback from others particularly those most impacted by the leader’s work. Work on self-awareness. The leader should strive to always do and say the things that one would want from team members.
5. Not monitoring the team’s health.
The team’s action should always provide value to the organization. Accurately define the work and set priorities and strategies for achieving the work result. Accurate guidance helps teams perform at their best. Getting “down in the trenches” with the team helps to ensure resources are effectively allocated and the team has the success measures clearly outlined.
6. Not having the right people do the right work.
It is a disservice to the organization and the person if an individual is not the best person for the work being performed. Help team members find a better path within the organization.
7. Creating a tense work environment.
Open the doors of communication and have conversations that focus on building trust and respect to help create a safe environment to express opinions and ideas.
Daily work life is busy for leaders, no question, making it difficult at times to focus on the things that help teams succeed. Finding time each day to focus on these suggestions will create a stronger more productive team over time.
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