Respecting your position, valuing your staff and being passionate about your business may be characteristics for good leadership.
But if not practised, chances are it can lead to an unproductive workplace and close off opportunities for improvement within the business.
Here are seven management sins that CEOs and management can often overlook:
Just because you have the top job, doesn’t make acting like a tyrant in the office acceptable. Micromanaging sends the message that you, as the business leader, are focused on only one particular way of thinking. Instead, encourage your staff to make autonomous decisions. Show them you respect their opinions by inviting them to share their own insights and ideas. When you give staff the freedom they need to feel empowered professionally, they will automatically do what they are good at, creating a positive and productive workplace.
2. Failing to hire the right staff
I always aim to hire staff to fill the skill gaps in my business; those who can contribute what I cannot. In any business, there are three main types of people: movers, connectors and creators. Movers have high ambitions and know how to run a business with energy and enthusiasm, acting in ways today that they know will benefit the business tomorrow. Connectors are great sellers and problem solvers, always knowing whom to talk to and when. Creators are the dreamers and visionaries, who are passionate about the business and have big dreams for it. Work out which qualities and skills are important for your business and hire staff accordingly.
3. Not being willing to adapt
Businesses that are closed off to the idea of change and aren’t flexible are limited greatly. The businesses that cannot adapt to changing environments are the ones that fail. If you planned to have a business that sold orange juice, and spent months planting the seeds, only to find that the trees grew lemons instead, would you cut all the trees down, or change your business to suit the circumstances? Being open to change is key to laying the foundation for a successful business.
4. Being a narcissist
As a leader, you should always trust your gut and lead with decisiveness. When you doubt yourself, your business weakens, and staff can lose trust in you. This however does not constitute egoism in the work place. A study from the United States suggested that narcissistic CEOs have a sense of self-entitlement, low empathy and often make more impulsive and risky decisions. Assertiveness does not have to come with grandiosity.
5. Judging the people around you
Judging staff, clients and customers limits business. Often business owners will evaluate the likelihood of the client or customer spending money e.g. “they’re not our customer profile” or “they will never spend money here”. This instantly drives away business with a negative mind-set. When you make judgements like these, you drive away business, regardless of whether you make the feelings heard or not.
6. Having unrealistic expectations
Putting unrealistic and unnecessary pressure on your staff, whether this is through deadlines, verbal meetings or delegating tasks inappropriately is a guaranteed way to lower the performance of your business. Setting reasonable timing, ensuring you have set clear expectations of your staff and going for the “quality not quantity” approach is key when it comes to task assignment. Not being overloaded at work ensures staff are able to perform at their best and don’t feel stressed. Creating a positive workplace boosts productivity.
7. Thinking you have all the answers
It is okay to say, “I don’t know” and “I don’t know that right now, let me go and find out.” It’s great to feel confident in a management position, but making snap decisions might make you appear like an expert but can lead to expensive and time-wasting mistakes. Keep the trust of employees, and take the time to really consider options. Be sure to do your research before making important decisions.
Simone Milasas is a dynamic business coach and mentor, Worldwide Coordinator for Access Consciousness and author of Joy of Business.