Not all bosses are created equal. Some may be born leaders, but most of us have to learn how to master the role.
But even if you’re doing a great job of leading your team, there’s always room for improvement, right?
And the good news: 70% survive their leadership weaknesses, says Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, authors of Speed: How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution.
But first, you need to identify your weaknesses. Here are five common leadership liabilities shared by Business News Daily – and how to turn them into assets:
Why do some bosses check in on their staff five times a day to make sure they’ve completed every little task?
Some want to be seen as authority figures, others fear a loss of control. To ensure that things get done, these bosses become taskmasters and micromanage. Good leaders put trust in their team, and most times, good employees will step up to show the leader they’re worthy of that trust.
Fix this flaw: The best approach? “Focus on specific outcomes and trusting your team to follow through,” says Keisha A. Rivers, founder, The KARS Group.
Do periodic check-ins to ensure progress is being made, “rather than wanting to be cc’d on every single email or requiring your team to provide daily status reports,” says Rivers.
2) Requiring 24/7 Access
An always-connected approach to leadership is bad for managers and team members alike. It makes employees feel they need to get their boss’ approval on everything. And it will inevitably make them feel resentful.
Fix this flaw: Even though project management tools, IM, email, etc. allow managers to “participate in every minute decision that gets made,” says Nicholas Thorne, CEO, Basno, it doesn’t mean they should. Give your staff some breathing room, he says: “Communicate clearly to set consistent expectations and be quick to tell people, ‘I trust your judgment.’”
3) Being Stuck In Your Ways
The way you’re doing things may be working, but it’s important not to let yourself – or your team – grow stagnant. The best leaders continue to grow and learn – and are always on alert for signs of complacency.
Fix this flaw: “Communicate and instill a clear sense of why you’re doing what you do,” says Liz Elting, co-CEO, TransPerfect. But it’s key to listen to feedback from your employees: “Make it a top priority to not only solicit feedback from them but also decipher that feedback and act on upon it.”
4) Needing To Be Liked
The need to be in everyone’s good favor can sometimes cloud good business judgment. Managers sometimes need to make unpopular decisions, says David Scarola, VP, The Alternative Board.
Fix this flaw: The best leaders know that if they make consistently good decisions, and “take the time to explain their reasoning, they will earn the respect of their employees,” says Scarola. Choose respect over being liked every time.
5) Having Goals, But No Vision
Your team always needs to know what they’re working toward, says Scarola. In a recent leadership survey his company conducted, he found that 46% of companies feel a leader’s most important function is “accomplishing goals,” followed closely by “setting a vision” (38%). Neither can stand on its own, says Scarola.
Fix this flaw: “As leaders, it’s up to you to provide a clear but succinct picture of the vision and desired outcomes for the team,” says Rivers. “People connect to a project or task much easier if they know where it’s headed. Don’t keep them in the dark.”