Some interesting stats: 25 Surprising Leadership Statistics to Take Note Of
- 69% of Millennials are concerned that their workplace does not develop their leadership skills;
- More than 77% of organizations report that leadership is lacking;
- In business, 83% of companies say developing leaders is crucial.
Leadership training and coaching are much-needed now and will continue to be in the future. And to be a good leader, it’s worth understanding some common mistakes that aspiring leaders often make:
1. Not Knowing Who You Are
It’s not uncommon for the image we have of ourselves to be vastly different from how others perceive us. Aspiring leaders who are not confident in their strengths and who don’t know their weaknesses can struggle mightily.
2. Avoiding Difficult Conversations
It’s human nature to want to avoid difficult conversations. And yet, leaders can’t typically afford to do so. To be a good leader, you have to be comfortable dealing with opposing views.
Difficult conversations are often necessary to facilitate change, deal with poor performance, improve operations, etc.
3. Focusing on “Being Liked”
Speaking of human nature, we all want to be well-liked in any group: family, friends, and at work. However, while being well-liked is important for a leader, it cannot be a guiding force in your operating style and decision-making.
4. Avoiding Decisions
There’s no other way to do it: leaders need to make decisions every day. And some of them are hard.
One pitfall here is trying to postpone or even avoid the process because of the fear of failure. This can hinder organizational growth and even impact your growth as a leader and professional.
5. Not Facilitating Change
A leader’s job is to help the organization and its employees grow. A leader is a conductor of change, which also means they, personally, need to be flexible enough to adapt to change.
A leader who hinders change (because they prefer the status quo, for example) can be a huge issue for the entire organization.
6. Ineffective Communication
Communication skills can often make or break a leader. Leaders must be well-versed in all mechanisms of language, be they verbal, non-verbal, or written. Often, leaders need to encourage and facilitate effective communication, which is nearly impossible if they themselves don’t possess the requisite communication skills.
7. Not Focusing on Your Potential
People often view a leadership position as the prize in the career race. However, getting to the finish line doesn’t mean your journey of growth stops.
Good leaders know they must continually develop their skills, including leveraging others for assistance in leading a team or an organization.
So, How Can You Become a Better Leader?
We’ve seen that many times, people require specialized support to help them navigate the new challenges of leadership. One-on-one leadership coaching can help individuals get this support and navigate these 7 common mistakes. As to whether these mistakes can be avoided entirely – that depends. To err is human, after all. But how a leader bounces back when mistakes occur can be as indicative of their leadership abilities than whether they avoid them in the first place.
[Here’s a related article that you may find of interest: Seven Mistakes Hindering Kids from Becoming Great Leaders]
Thanks to our friends at Kashbox Coaching for their contributions to this article.