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The Seven Mistakes Leaders Make

Leading a firm to success in today’s marketplace is difficult. An uncertain economy and
unpredictable market changes make many employees uncertain of what to do. When
leaders fail them, they either jump ship or stay on board, floundering and performing at
reduced levels. This article will highlight the seven mistakes that leaders in companies/corporations, educational institutions and government organizations
alike, typically make.

Mistake #1

Lack of trust. Leaders develop a following by developing trust.
When trust doesn’t exist, employees look for someone else to
follow, inside or outside the organization. Trust is based on
integrity. It’s all about being honest, keeping promises, being
fair. Leaders are judged by what they do everyday. Lose trust,
and you lose your followers.

Mistake #2

Failure to shape and share a vision. You need to share the organizational
vision and goals so employees understand the big picture.
Realize that team members want to know where the organization
is going and how that direction impacts their personal
objectives. As events and circumstances change, communicate
that to them as well. The more you reveal to employees, the
more leadership they’ll feel they have. Help them to vividly see
the future.

Mistake #3

Unclear expectations. Each employee needs clear focus, especially
during uncertain times. When employees see the economy
turn sour or cutbacks occur, they naturally fear any change
that could impact their own future. To keep those fears from
surfacing, continually communicate with your employees, and
state your expectations of them. Tell them what you want, what
they did right, what you expect of them and how you measure
their progress.

Mistake #4

Insufficient modeling of desired behaviors. You must
demonstrate the behaviors that you want
from others. When you take a leadership
role, you actually lose
some rights—the right to let
your performance decline, the
right to blame someone or something
else. There is no break time, it’s
“24-7” for showing others the way
you wish them to be.

Mistake #5,br>
Not enough partnering. When we reach out
to others to achieve mutually desired results, we are
partnering. Leaders must lead the way by partnering with
other organizational leaders, employees, vendors, etc. Each person
brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the partnering
process. Leaders must think and talk in terms of “we,”
involving others in decisions that effect them and the business
whenever possible.

Mistake #6

Failure to retain top talent. Leaders need to behave in a way that
makes the “keepers” want to stay. Top talent wants to be recognized
and praised for contribution. High achievers want some
“room,” some authority to do what they know needs to be
done. They also want to be growing themselves while working
with you to grow the company. Hold them back and they’ll go

Mistake #7

Too little celebration of success. The pressures of the day-to-day
are felt by everyone. Leaders must find multiple opportunities
to acknowledge individual and team accomplishments.
Impromptu parties, award dinners and staff meetings are all
ways to stop, say thanks and encourage further success.
Leaders need to avoid these seven mistakes or pitfalls. Today’s
employees have very high standards for their leaders. They want
to know what to expect, where the company is going and how
they fit into the big picture.

About the Author

Joanne G. Sujansky, Ph.D., CSP (Certified Speaking Professional)
is the founder of KEYGroup® and the author
of six books, including The Keys to Mastering Leadership.
KEYGroup® provides Sujansky’s keynote
speeches, books and tapes as well as corporate leadership
programs based on Sujansky’s founding principles
of “Unlocking The Leader Within.”

For More Information
To get in contact with Sujansky, call (724) 942-7900
or go to

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