Most leaders have good intentions and strive to be effective, but even the best form habits that can hold them back and cost them credibility, says executive leadership coach Lolly Daskal, author of the new book “The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness.” Daskal offers these seven harmful leadership mistakes that leaders make:
A sense of omnipotence – “Leadership is all about humility,” Daskal says. An inflated sense of self-importance can lead to trust problems and make it difficult to build relationships.
Moving too fast – Yes, business moves at a more rapid pace than ever, but one that is too fast for too long compounds the risk of errors – both big and small. The best leaders know how to work efficiently and meet deadlines while also pacing themselves and their team, and slowing down the process when necessary.
Thinking you have to be perfect – “Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world of business and leadership, the enemy of creativity, innovation and effectiveness,” says Daskal. As we have stated on this blog in other posts, great leaders know when to get out of the way and let others lead – and learn from failure.
Constantly putting out fires – Leaders tell Daskal they feel more like chief trauma officers than visionaries of their business. Confident leaders empower their team members to put out their own fires so they can focus on growth, improvement and expansion.
Needing to know everything – It’s not possible to avoid all risks. In fact, it’s risk that often leads to greatness. “When you keep doing what you know instead of being innovative and creative, you – and your organization – lose a competitive edge,” states Daskal.
Feeling defeated and despondent – Setbacks happen. “It’s important to learn how to be aware of despair without lingering in it. Leaders need to understand what they feel, and sometimes they need to be coached on how to let go.”
Losing yourself while creating yourself – Executives’ decisions and actions are scrutinized more than ever. Stand firm. “If virtues and values drive you as a leader, there is no mistake you will succeed,” says Daskal.