Common Mistakes Business Leaders Make (and How to Fix Them)

Leading a business is not easy and not everyone has the qualities needed for what it takes to be a good boss. It requires you to evaluate yourself constantly to ensure you are serving the company well. Many employees usually look for a leader who can guide them instead of telling them what to do. There are a few common mistakes you should look for in your own leadership so you can avoid them.

Growing Stagnant

In how much you change over time, you face the danger of getting stuck in your ways. Just because the way you do something now works does not mean it will always work. Becoming stagnant means you may no longer desire new ways of doing things, and you might lose motivation. Instead. It’s a good idea to communicate with the team to ensure they know why they are doing what they are doing. Reminding your team of their purpose can give them the necessary motivation to grow and collaborate. 

It’s also important to take regular feedback from all key stakeholders. Getting feedback from your clients is one of the most important things you can do as a business leader, so make sure you prioritize getting this type of feedback. To avoid stagnation, it’s important to always be learning yourself. Keep up to date with news in your industry and attend events like trade shows and conferences. You might take classes to grow professionally. Depending on your area of focus, you might find that getting your degree in a relevant area is beneficial. If you are thinking about getting your degree, you can search online for Going Merry scholarships for college to make your degree more affordable when it comes time to repay after graduation.

Trying Too Hard to be Liked

You are human just like those you are leading, and you may desire your team to like you. However, trying to be liked can get in the way of making good business mistakes. It’s easy to get caught up in the desires of your team and make decisions they agree with. However, just because the decision is popular does not mean it is the right decision for the business. Instead of trying to do something everyone likes, try to be respected and understood by your team, and know they may not always agree with all the decisions you make. 

Know how to communicate with them and make sure they understand your reasoning behind each decision you make. If you take the time to make the best decisions and explain why you are doing that, you will be more respected by your employees. If you are reviewing employees’ performance, make sure you are only reviewing based on objective metrics instead of doing so subjectively. Even if the numbers you are seeing don’t align with what you are looking for, it’s important to help the employee get their performance back where it needs to be.

Being Hypocritical

Don’t tell your employees to act one way and then act completely differently yourself. Business leaders are examples to their teams, and if you want the respect of those under you, it’s important to follow the rules you put in place. Staff members don’t want to see you giving them all the hard work while you sit back and enjoy life. Because you are someone others look up to, you should hold yourself to an even higher standard than your employees. Gossiping about a colleague or leaving early will be reported to other colleagues, and you will then see the same behaviour modelled.

It’s common for business leaders to want to create a specific work environment but do not want to contribute to it themselves. It’s also important to strike the balance between being part of the team and holding yourself above the rest of the team. It’s easy to hold yourself aloof because you don’t want to be best friends with your employees. However, if you act like you are better than the rest of the team, you will create more tension. 

Instead, try to be open about your shortcomings. By being more transparent, your team will be more authentic as well. Sharing things that challenge you or things you need to work on allows you to let others in. This helps you appear more vulnerable and more like a real person, instead of the aloof boss no one feels comfortable meeting with. Ultimately, being vulnerable helps you be a more relatable person who your teammates will be happy to come to with their own struggles.