Are leaders born, or are they made? While we could spend all day posing arguments for both sides, it’s probably more worthwhile to focus on what actually makes a good leader.
And, for this article, take a look at the behaviours that are associated with bad leadership. For it makes much more sense to rid yourself of those negative traits before trying to adopt some shiny new ones, right?
Here are some of the most important things NOT to do, if you want to be seen as an admirable, approachable and inspirational leader.
Don’t Be Overly Self-Indulgent
While this may seem like an obvious one, it can be easily forgotten when it comes to promoting yourself as a business. If you’re the business owner, don’t take all the credit for the things your team has worked hard for.
If you’re telling the world (aka LinkedIn) of a recent achievement, tag your team and say thank you. Simple gestures like this will not only boost your team’s morale - they set the tone for the supportive work culture you want to create.
Don’t Act As a Superior - Act Like a Colleague
A little humility goes a long way when it comes to leadership. If you feel the need to dominate your team as a superior, you’ll likely get subpar results. Interrupting people, talking down ideas and showboating are signs of a ‘boss mindset’ taken too far, and can leave your team feeling intimidated. This in turn will kill their creativity, deter them from speaking out about important issues, and wipe out any loyalty they may have had for you.
Don’t Assume You’re Always Right
“True leaders are the first to admit that they don’t know everything and that they need help” - Bill Byrd.
These are words to live by for every leader - not just in business, but in sport and life in general.
Always be open to feedback from your team. Welcome disagreement and company criticism with open arms - you have no idea how vital those opinions could be to the health of your business down the line.
Don’t Be a People Hoarder
This is one of the toughest pills to swallow for a leader. All too often, the ‘higher-ups’ in a company will prevent their best talent from progressing their career for fear of losing them. This leads to anger and frustration, which is likely to hurt the company a lot more than if the employee had been shown support.
Instead of feeling betrayed, forsaken or bitter about your worker leaving, tell them how much their presence has meant to you. You have no idea how that same person could repay you for your respectfulness in the future.
Don’t Be Afraid
At the risk of sounding cliché, we’ve put ‘don’t be afraid’ on this list because of its irrefutable importance. At the end of the day, leadership is all about taking risks, venturing where others haven’t, and giving others the courage to go there with you.
There is no certainty in the world of business - or life, for that matter - and true leadership requires a degree of responsibility that most people don’t want to deal with. Courage is perhaps the most admirable and identifiable trait of all great leaders, and it’s the thing that history’s most prominent leaders are remembered for.
So lead by example, inspire your team with your unwavering belief in them and yourself, and become the fantastic leader you’ve always wanted to be.
For more leadership tips and advice on how to create a positive and supportive work environment, visit our blog.