3 Common Leadership Mistakes of Young Team Leaders
The leadership mistakes of selected young leaders have been identified below. Before I begin to point them out, I will want to define who a team leader is. A team leader is someone who provides guidance, instruction, direction and leadership to a group of other individuals (the team) for the purpose of achieving a key result, vision and goals of the team. Team leaders are responsible for the development of the people they lead, taking up challenges so as to keep the team members motivated and dedicated.
“One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes.”– Richard Branson
As a team leader, when things go wrong you’re more responsible for every ounce of the situation than your team members. You can’t just disassociate yourself from the situation believing that the error would be rectified by members of your team. Team leaders who stand by their team when things are not going well, are more respected and valued by members.
It’s not uncommon to hear people say that everyone makes mistakes. Although this seems to be common knowledge, there is still very little grace for those in positions of leadership who make mistakes on the job. Many leadership mistakes that leaders make are simple issues that could have been handled differently if the leader was more aware ahead of time.
Here are some of the frequent leadership mistakes associated with young team leaders and how they can be avoided:
Lack of self-awareness
Self awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. It allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.
Effective team leaders always put their personality in check. They create a culture where people are able to speak up about areas for improvement which is vital for a creative and continuously improving team. Letting people know that you are human too, and helping them believe you are all on a journey of development, will encourage openness, personal growth and strong motivation for the whole team.
Lack of humility
Humility is one of the best virtues a leader should possess. Occupying a leadership position is a great accomplishment, but never allow that position to create a false sense of security and/or pride. It’s important that your employees know you’re not above your shortcomings.
“Leaders must not be afraid to recognize their own failures,” writes Joe Chiarello, owner of two Murphy Business & Financial Corporation franchises. “We all fall down at some point, but what really matters is the way we pick ourselves up and learn from our mistakes. This is what helps us grow and makes us stronger.”
According to Mark Feldman, Vice President at Building Engines, “If there is an issue, it’s best to address it right away when the situation is fresh. Managers often shy away from confrontation and try to avoid disagreements at all costs. But when performance or personality issues go unaddressed, they fester and set an overall tone that minimizes the urgency of correcting mistakes.”
One of the most difficult adjustments team leaders have to make is learning how to handle conflicts or disagreements that arise within the team. You may be right to come off as a fair and just leader, not wanting to be tough on team members. But never calling people out for their negative behavior, can hurt your whole staff more if you don’t nip an issue in the bud. Sometimes, a leader has to be tough and resolute.