Dave gives some sound advice on evolving as a leader. Put his ideas to use.
Misconceptions (about yourself) Can Undermine Your Leadership
As a leader, you’re confident in your ability to direct a group of people to accomplish your company’s goals. You believe in your business skills, and you think your employees respect you. Plus, you’re an excellent communicator.
While you may think you’ve got what it takes to succeed, those working with you might disagree. That’s because leaders often lie to themselves about their abilities, and their relationships with team members. And if you believe a lie long enough, you’ll begin to accept it as truth.
Are any of the following lies derailing you?
My way is the right way
You’re the leader, so it only makes sense to assume your way is best. Except that it’s not. Not always.
If you want to be successful in today’s ever-changing business world, you must admit others might have a better solution. No one has a monopoly on good ideas, so embrace innovation.
I’m not arrogant
There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and leaders often cross that line. In his book Managing, Harold Geneen wrote, “The worst disease which can afflict business executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed, alcoholism; it’s egotism.”
Being arrogant can derail your leadership quicker than your team can say “big ego.” Successful leaders admit they are human, and that they make mistakes.
I communicate well
You may think, I’ve already covered this in staff meeting. My team knows this.
Maybe they don’t.
A recent article reported that the average attention span for adults is now just eight seconds. Eight seconds! The good news is they’re likely to tune back in if you tell a compelling story. Keep relating that story until your team can tell it back to you.
I’m a great listener
Before you say that, ask yourself: Am I actively listening, or am I just waiting for my turn to talk?
It’s easy to go into problem-solving mode, and assume you know the solution before someone finishes explaining the problem. Hearing is not the same as listening. Put your phone down, look the person in the eyes, and pay attention.
I can (and should) hide my weaknesses
Wrong! You spend more time with your team than anyone else in your life. They know you. They see your strengths and your weaknesses. Ignoring weaknesses or hiding flaws doesn’t make you a better leader, it only fuels distrust. Just be honest.
Your leadership skills need to evolve constantly, or you’ll become ineffective and irrelevant. You’ll never be the perfect leader, and that’s okay. None of us will. Admit you don’t know everything. Welcome the input of others. Listen to them. Accept your limitations, and ask for help.
Your success as a leader depends on it!
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