There’s no shortage of articles highlighting great insights from business leaders. It is sometimes just as valuable to understand what happens when a leader stumbles. By analyzing our missteps, perhaps we can better understand how to avoid similar issues—or at least manage them appropriately if they arise.
Develop Emotional Intelligence
Develop self-awareness and self-regulation strategies so that you can navigate the polarities leaders often suffer between.
Take Ownership Of Your Mistakes
Do you find yourself attempting to explain, rationalize or flat-out skirt around an issue, deflecting the blame from yourself? This only decreases trust and accountability. Taking ownership of your mistakes results in more trust, as the organization moves on more quickly to other matters.
Develop Leaders Throughout The Organization
Invest time aligning people to purpose. Develop leaders throughout the entire organization. This becomes a competitive advantage, especially in challenging times. The typical organization chart shows you, the leader, in the box atop the page. Flip the page. You’re now on the bottom and your front line people are at the top. You are there to support them.
Lead with Empathy
Any worthwhile leader will imagine being in the shoes of those around them. If he or she can’t empathize with the other person, they probably don’t have the wherewithal to lead. All people have good days and bad days, and they have struggles and issues that go far beyond the workplace. A leader needs to be empathetic to these daily struggles. A leader doesn’t have to fix an employee’s issues, they just need to understand these issues exist and be able to empathize. Sometimes all workers need is a sounding board. Having someone there to listen goes a long way.
Give Everyone A Voice And Listen
Strongly opinionated? Know exactly what needs to be done? When leaders are strongly opinionated and resistant to others’ ideas, it only leads to people taking sides and justifying their responses. Resistance breeds even more resistance. Leaders who truly listen to others create environments where others desire to reciprocate, collaborate and listen too. Cultures in which people feel they have a voice will thrive.
Give voices of dissent a safe space and do not be suppressive or dismissive of those who have opinions that are different from yours. They will keep you grounded and teach you not to take things personally. If you are only listening to praise, you are not in the right role.