A boss is defined as a person who manages employees while a leader inspires others to innovate, think creatively and strive for greatness. Leaders delegate, develop people and motivate others. Not all leaders are great, because it takes a specific set of skills and qualities to ignite positive change. A recent study by Randstad USA found that only 35% of employees feel inspired by their boss.
Effective leadership will help foster a positive environment where each team member’s strengths contribute to the overall success of your business. Another study found that happiness in employees led to a 12% spike in productivity. A positive change in your leadership style will lead to a more positive mood, enhanced job satisfaction, improved performance and better team interactions.
Dr. James serves as the CEO of IntelLegend Corp, the head conglomerate of four different companies. Dr. James draws on his direct leadership expertise to provide insight on the five mistakes leaders can make.
Poor Communication Skills
Dr. James advises that communication is a vital foundation for successful interactions. Poor leaders don’t value communicating with their employees, which produces more problems and misunderstandings. A lack of communication generates unclear expectations which leads employees to be unaware of their designated goals. A confused team will be unable to sustain itself, much less your company.
Transparency is crucial in any team because it’s easier to solve a problem with multiple minds instead of just one. It is essential to communicate honestly with others in order to develop loyal relationships.
Great leaders are active listeners, fluid thinkers and can communicate effectively across all mediums. Good communication skills are key to building a strong, loyal and closely-knit team. Everyone needs to be part of the process, contribute to the overall vision and feel worthy. Leaders that listen to their team members form a solid fundamental base to rely on during tough times.
Fear of Change
Dr. James succeeded because he was willing to embrace unfamiliar things and face changes head-on. “The only constant is change” goes the saying. Poor leaders fear change. They are unwilling to alter their perspective and will dismiss ideas that aren’t their own. This close-mindedness will cause issues within your teams and negatively impact the company’s future success. Leaders who fail to embrace change are destined to be left behind.
In this ever-changing landscape, it is important to adapt to the latest technological developments or new business practices. Being open-minded to new ideas is a crucial component of great leadership. By keeping your options open, staying flexible and being willing to listen to the ideas of others, you are opening multiple paths to success.
Lack of Empathy
Dr. James highlights the significance of empathy in great leaders. Employees are multi-faceted individuals with a life that extends beyond their work obligations. Poor leaders will dismiss the issues their employees face. A successful team is composed of equal contributions from all members and this is only possible if reciprocated understandings are in place.
A great leader will be able to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and see things from a distinct perspective. Leaders must understand the problems of their team members and remove barriers to entry, so their team can do the best job possible. Empathy is a necessary attribute for leaders who seek to positively impact the lives of their employees. Emotionally intelligent leaders increase productivity, retention and employee happiness.
Poor leaders do not understand the concept of “service above self,” and will not obtain the trust, confidence, and loyalty of those they lead. Excessive ego, pride, and arrogance are not positive leadership traits. True visionary leaders will let go of their ego and self-serving habits to instead focus on the people. Yes, there’s no “I” in team, and there’s no “I” in “we”. No one wants to work for someone who is so focused on themselves that they have no awareness of the people contributing to the collective success of an organization. Start listening more and speaking less.
Lack of a Focused Vision
No vision signifies no leadership. Poor leaders are satisfied with achieving the bare minimum to survive, which only promises no future growth. Leaders who lack focus risk unsettling their team and their organization. Effective leaders aim to implement innovative ideas to keep their organizations fresh, dynamic, competitive and growing. Leaders should be intentional, focused, disciplined and responsible because all team members will be looking up to them. Always remember your original vision, and let that motivation light your way toward your ultimate goal. A focused, inspirational vision will promote an enthusiastic and motivated response from your team.
As we learn through Dr. James’ strong leadership, these five mistakes can be the difference between being a great leader and being a poor one. Avoid them and your company’s success will follow.
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