Whether you’re a staff of one or managing a team of contractors and/or employees, being a great leader is essential to the success of your business. Contrary to the popular idiom, great leaders can, in fact, be made. According to research from Leadership Quarterly, 74% of what it takes to be a great leader is learned behaviors. To develop your leadership skills, drop these five habits.
Think about the best managers and leaders you’ve worked with. When someone points out a problem to them, chances are they step-up, apologize, take the blame, and fix it. They do not point fingers or blame someone on their team for not doing their job. Blaming others isn’t just disrespectful to your team, it isn’t respectful to the person raising the concern either. What it conveys to them is that you’re not in charge.
Focusing on Short-Term
Every decision you make has short-term and long-term impacts on your business. While the short-term results matter, to have a truly successful business that stands the test of time, you need to be more focused on the long-term. Define your long-term goals as part of your mission statement and keep them in mind with every decision you make.
It can be tempting to give orders and demand your team comes to you with every decision that needs to be made. The problem is that this makes your team feel undervalued. They won’t work has hard and their job satisfaction will be low. In addition, this method of managing takes a lot of your time. Instead, empower your team to make decisions and trust them to do what’s right.
Not Investing in Yourself
This can be as time consuming and expensive as taking classes or as a simple as swapping music during your commute for a relevant podcast or audiobook. What matters is that you’re continually increasing your knowledge and professional development and using your time effectively.
Having a Hero Complex
You’re in charge and your business is your baby, but that doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers. If you’ve hired your team or contractors correctly, you’ve surrounded yourself with people who are experts at what they do. Rely on them and delegate tasks that they’re better equipped to handle. Remember, growing your business is a team effort.
While these five things may seem obvious, many leaders have had these habits for so long they no longer realize they’re doing them. By taking a moment to look at yourself as a leader and let go of these habits, you’ll help yourself, your business, and your team achieve great success.