Even the smartest, most diligent leaders fall into traps that can stymie their performance. They may not realize that their actions or behavior can work against them. Steer clear of these four common traps:
1. Flying solo. Leaders often say it’s lonely at the top. But that doesn’t mean you must remain isolated.
Some CEOs make matters worse by assuming they know all the answers. It’s better to seek out trusted advisors who can share honest input. Join a peer group of other CEOs or assemble an advisory board of experienced leaders who can provide counsel.
2. Modeling bad behavior. Some people figure that once they’re in charge, they can finally let down their guard and act naturally. But that’s a problem if your unfiltered personality rubs others the wrong way.
Employees watch your every move to gain clues about your likes, dislikes and mood. That means you need to model the kind of steadiness and maturity that you want them to emulate.
3. Welcoming too much strategic input. Effective leaders begin a strategic planning session by articulating their vision and setting direction. From there, they encourage open debate.
If you ask staffers what direction the organization should take, you risk weakening your. It’s your job to set employees on the right path, not leave it up to them to select a path.
4. Retaining poor performers. If an employee isn’t working out after repeated opportunities to improve, take corrective action. In CEO surveys, respondents often admit their biggest mistake over the past year was holding onto an underperformer for too long. When someone is in the wrong role, make the necessary move sooner, not later.
— Adapted from “5 mistakes even the best CEOs make,” Melissa Raffoni, www.raffonigroup.com.