15/20 – 20 Questions for Leaders, Mistakes That Leaders Make the Most

What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?

Leaders are people, and people make mistakes. I know I do, probably more often than I’d like to admit.

I’m going to answer this question a little differently by focusing on some of the more significant mistakes that I believe leaders frequently make and the ones that I personally aim to avoid.

Firstly, I think that as leaders we always need to do what we say we will do. This builds trust.

I often see leaders say one thing and do another, or they don’t apply the rules in the same way to themselves, as they apply to their staff. We then compound this mistake, by assuming that our teams won’t notice.

They do notice!

This leads to a lack of trust, and we lose our followers when we lose trust. I think this is probably the biggest makes I see leaders make.

Another big mistake I frequently see is, leaders taking as much of the credit for their team’s success as possible.

Everyone knows what the leader’s contribution was, and credit will always be given for it, there is no need to take it away from the team.

Maybe this is a confidence issue.

With Manchester United, we know Alex Ferguson is the manager, we know he selected the team, and the tactics and provided the motivation. Yet in the press interviews, he gives all of the credit to the players, it’s as if he wasn’t involved.

This gives great motivation to the team, as well as reward, recognition and respect, and this leads to respect for the manager.

If the leader looks to take all of the credit, then the effect is completely the opposite, but it’s amazing how often we see this happen. Nothing demotivates a team as much as the leader claiming it was all about them.

What mistakes do you see leaders frequently making? Which ones do you dislike the most?

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