Many business leaders focus on habits that they need to develop in order to become successful. However, by focusing solely on these attributes, leaders could develop some bad habits that stand in the way of their success. Understanding the most common bad habits of leaders can help to ensure that they avoid them entirely. Following is a look at some of the most common bad habits among business leaders. Those who engage in these behaviors should focus as much on stopping them as they do on developing positive behaviors.
Promising too much.
Business leaders often feel like they have a lot to prove, both to themselves and to their colleagues. For this reason, business leaders often overextend themselves and promise more than they can possibly deliver. The problem with this is that people lose trust in those leaders who do not keep their word. Matters can become even worse if this habit extends to clients. Overpromising to clients can quickly cause you to lose business and prevent you from acquiring new clients as word spreads. Ultimately, promising less than one knows they can deliver will make a better impression. When people give or deliver more than they promise, they look good. At the same time, if something happens and leaders do not deliver beyond their promises, they will still appear trustworthy.
When business leaders micromanage the people around them, they stretch themselves thin and send a message to their employees that they do not trust them. Micromanaged employees ultimately become resentful due to this sense of mistrust, and their work suffers as a result. Unfortunately, this lack of trust reinforces the belief that micromanagement is necessary. Business leaders need to focus on hiring people that they trust and developing their employees to the extent that they feel confident they can handle the tasks handed to them.
Working too much.
Work-life balance has become an important buzzword in business over the last decade. More leaders are forcing their employees to take time off to recharge. Unfortunately, many often do not follow their own advice. Just as employees can experience burnout and benefit from time off, leaders need recreational time. Vacation promotes physical and mental health so that leaders can be more productive. In addition, many employees look to their leaders as role models and will push themselves too hard if they see them doing the same.
Business leaders are under an incredible amount of pressure to make decisions quickly and to make the right ones for the future of the business. While this kind of stress can paralyze some people, making no decisions is typically worse than making the wrong decision. If leaders notice that their to-do list due is growing due to indecisiveness, they need to address the issue quickly since failing to make decisions can significantly curb productivity and send the wrong message to employees. Before long, employees will lose faith in indecisive leaders. People may want to look into bringing more advisors into their circle who can help them to make important decisions and improve their self-confidence.
Operating without transparency.
For a variety of reasons, leaders may withhold information from their employees. Some leaders do not want to lose face if they make a bad decision, and others may want to keep their employees from becoming stressed. Ultimately, employees know when their leaders are not being honest with them, and they will become insecure in their positions. Leaders rarely have a legitimate reason to hide information from their team. Employees want to know exactly where a company stands and can often provide unexpected insight. When something goes wrong, it takes collaboration from the whole team to keep the ship on course.
Failing to listen.
Business leaders may not listen to their employees for a variety of reasons. Some become blinded by a position of power and dismiss ideas that are not their own, while others may simply feel overwhelmed. Employees often have revolutionary ideas that leaders may miss out on when they do not take the time to listen. Even if the ideas are not great, leaders can provide constructive feedback and criticism. Leaders should see themselves as coaches and actively invest in their employees by listening to and guiding them.
Shying away from risk.
Too many leaders are terrified of taking risks. The old adage of “no risk, no reward” is right on target. Companies that pull ahead of their competitors do so by taking risks. Leaders who are afraid of taking risks need to make a conscious effort to change the culture of their companies. When failure is seen as the enemy, no one wants to take risks and possibly get blamed when things go wrong. Failure is not the enemy, but rather the teacher. When an idea fails, leaders and their teams learn what does not work. As a result, they can better prepare themselves to launch successful ideas in the future.