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7 Things Leaders Cannot Afford to Forget
Getting caught up in the everyday minutiae of leadership may cause leaders to drift away from the basics of leadership. Leaders cannot forget to love their jobs, focus on facilitating employees’ work, control micromanaging tendencies, or set teams’ cultures through examples.
Some leaders are walking encyclopedias. Others are highly forgetful. Being an intelligent leader does not require you to remember everything, but there are some things leaders can’t afford to forget.
As a leadership coaching professional, I believe the most important leadership skill one needs is a love of leadership. No leader can afford to forget to love leadership.
If you love what you do, you won’t have to work a day in your life.
Leading others can be difficult. Developing the skills that make a leader inspirational, respected, and a perpetual source of positive energy takes time, effort, and dedication. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you’ll find it impossible to successfully navigate the web of challenges effective leadership entails.
Intelligent leaders like what they do not because of the power or authority it may involve. From their positions, they can impact the lives of employees and peers positively, helping others fulfill their potential.
Making the Lives of Employees Easier
A leader’s job is to inspire teams and individuals to strive for excellence. Effective teams are testimonies to the intelligent leadership they receive.
Old-fashioned leaders still observing the tenets of the industrial age paradigm of leadership may think that by being hard on teams, they make employees more resilient. Nothing could be further from the truth. Intelligent employees know to expect support from leaders, and if they don’t receive it, they will move on.
Stop Telling Expert Employees How to Do Their Jobs
In my leadership coaching books and blog posts, I always emphasize that a leader’s primary role is to create favorable circumstances for employees to do their best work. Falling short of this is inexcusable.
Holding never-ending meetings where you carry the conversation and lecture others is not leadership. It is an ego trip that does not benefit a team.
Review your leadership. Identify the areas where you inadvertently make it more difficult for a team to perform and eliminate these shortcomings.
Check Your Micromanaging Tendencies
In the eyes of a business coaching professional, micromanagement is a leadership failure of the highest order.
Breathing down employees’ necks won’t just exhaust and frustrate you; it will do the same to them while breeding resentment and disengagement.
Disinterested and disengaged employees may leave your organization, giving you a reputation that will prevent others from coming to work for you.
Never Forget to Communicate
As your team does the actual work carrying today’s agenda, you may find yourself somewhat isolated, toiling away behind the scenes while thinking and moving forward and figuring out ways to bring positive change to your organization. This discrepancy may drive a wedge between you and your team.
The solution is healthy and frequent communication. Leaders cannot afford to be so consumed by work they forget to communicate their visions to others.
Never Forget Your Integrity
In the context of executive coaching, leadership maturity is non-negotiable. As I have stated in my leadership development books, most behaviors unworthy of a leader stem from immaturity.
The character of a leader is the source of all inner and outer-core leadership competencies and values. Integrity is the cornerstone of character and the most important facilitator of trust.
Integrity is the foundation of trust.
For an intelligent leader, fibbing or telling half-truths is never an option. Dishonesty breeds distrust, disengagement, and lagging performances.
You are a Culture Setter
Leaders create and maintain organizational cultures. In leading by example and modeling changes or desired behaviors, leaders have a defining impact on the cultures of the teams they lead. Investing time and effort into setting positive organizational or team cultures based on coaching mindsets is always a worthy undertaking.
Leadership can be challenging, but if you ensure you never forget the basics, you can make your job easier.