Becoming a leader is like a journey, to get to your destination you need to pull together and put to use necessary resources (the right human capital, the right attitude, skills etc) that will not only make your journey less stressful but help you reach your desired destination.
Level of Leadership
Mike Krzyzewski said leadership is an ever-evolving position, by implication we have to grow ou.r leadership daily. In growing our leadership mistakes are allowed, but if you must make any mistakes here are 7 deadly leadership sins to run
1. Pride and arrogance
In his book How the Mighty Fall Jim Collins identifies pride as the first step towards failure. We all know the saying that pride goes before a fall. But what will pride mean in everyday leadership exercise? Resisting change, playing the only intelligent person in the room, failure to listen, being arrogant to teammates, looking down on others, talking down on others constantly using the ‘I’ language, never saying thank you.
John C Maxwell states that there are two kind of pride- good and bad pride. Good pride he says represents our dignity and self respect. Bad pride to him is a deadly sin of superiority that reeks conceit and arrogance.
In one of his reflections on
2. Failing to listen
‘I remind myself every morning nothing I say his day will teach me anything So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening’. Larry King. Listening gives leaders, the opportunity to tap into and enrich themselves with knowledge from their team. Followers feel valued and relevant when listened to. Listening in itself is a motivating factor for the one being listened to.
Additionally, listening to one’s followers builds trust. –
3. Failing to Delegate
Imagine a scenario where a leader has all
But what does it mean to delegate? Delegation is the on-going process by which a leader assigns additional tasks (responsibilities and authority) to a subordinate in such a way that there is acceptance of responsibility for the assigned tasks.
Many in leadership positions still struggle with delegating. Cameron L. Morrissey talks of 1 step ahead in delegating and 3 steps backwards in Micro Management, to describe the challenge to delegate. Generally, leaders feel doing the work themselves saves time, the subordinate may not do it well enough.
On the contrary delegating work can really be beneficial – it eases work pressure, gives the leader time to address the main responsibilities and self-development. The subordinates also benefit as they have an increased opportunity to learn, innovate and challenge their interest you never may know how much your human capital can do if you fail to trust them with responsibility and authority.
For a proper delegation here are a few ways to go about it: Match task with the right person, communicate the importance of the task and what is in there for the person responsible, don’t abandon the task – supervise.5 Robert Half said ‘Delegating work works provided the one delegating works, too.
4. Trying to Please Everybody
I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody – Herbert Swope.
Being a leader is a hard task, it involves making plenty of decisions too. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions, decisions that cannot satisfy everyone. Whether you make a good or bad decision there will always be people who do not agree with you. Trying to please everyone is a very deadly move in leadership, it prevents you from sticking to your goals or the vision of the organization. As a
5. Failing to communicate
. Great communication skills and a consistent communication culture is very important in leadership. Keeping people in the dark or muzzling voices can lead to rumours, backbiting, misinformation, lower productivity, no motivation, the creation of fractions and eventually negative conflict.
From the moment one takes on exercising leadership, they have to communicate and share information. Communicate organizational values, vision and mission, communicate task to be done, create a feedback mechanism, communicate by relating with your team internally and externally using even body language.
In the present social
6. Taking all the credit for accomplishments
. We have heard some leaders use the ‘I’ word far too often than the ‘We’ word, especially when it comes to taking credit. Such a practice of excluding others from the fun part when it comes to celebrating the team’s success is a deadly leadership sin. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” –Andrew Carnegie
The leader must recognize the efforts of teammates and recognize them publicly. As a leader, you are in front leading the team, but without the team achieving organizational goals will be impossible. On the contrary when it comes to taking responsibility
7. Failing to Resource Self
There is a common saying that you cannot give what you don’t have! It all begins with you! John Maxwell was asked at a conference; what has been your greatest challenge as a leader and he answered ‘Leading me!’. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with our desire to lead others that we neglect the need to resource ourselves.
Most leaders want to grow their organization or business but growing the leader determines the growth of the people. As long as people are following you they will be able to go only as far as you go. If you are not growing they are not growing.7 As a leader, you have to be a continual learner. ‘Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.’ –Margaret
Maxwell, John C. 26 Critical lessons Every Leader needs. USA: Nelson Books, 2008. Perlow and Williams, on managing people. USA: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation,2011. Webliography http://www.vtaide.com/gleanings/delegation.htm, accessed March 28,
Compiled by: African Youth Union Commission: Research, Resource, Mobilization and Media/Advocacy Team.