The success of a business can be traced back to its leaders and the strategies they put in place. Edwin H. Friedman said, “Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future.” It is important to recognize the positive and effective attributes in each leader, but it is also important to be aware of obstacles that may be looming in the distance. Successful leadership develops over time, and can only be improved when business leaders know how to diagnose and treat leadership inhibitors. Here are the seven deadly sins of leadership:
Sin 1: Rushing through the hiring process
Without taking the proper amount of time to hire employees, companies run the risk of wasting time, effort, and money on someone who was never qualified for a position in the first place. Quality hiring practices at all levels improve overall performance. Traditional interviews and background checks can help employers form an accurate picture of an applicant’s past behavior, but pre-employment screening for a potential employee is a more accurate predictor of future behavior. If you don’t invest time and money now in hiring the right person for a job, how can you ever expect to receive a significant return? Make sure that you and your HR team are well-equipped to implement an effective hiring and onboarding process.
Access the eBook: Pre-hire Preparation
What Everyone Ought to know: An In-Depth Guide to the First Stage of the Employee Lifecycle.
Sin 2: Assuming that your employees know the company goals, objectives, and purpose
Even if your company has implemented an impressive strategic plan, it is worthless unless it is understood and embraced at all levels. Effective leaders should take the time to train and teach employees about the company’s objectives. Leaders are also responsible for goal setting, and communicating these goals clearly and consistently. Objectives and purposes should be restated each time a goal is set within the company. By repeatedly setting goals with the objectives in mind, employees will gain knowledge and understanding of what the company stands for.
Read: The Power of Workplace Communication
Sin 3: Failure to develop your team’s skills
Failing to develop your people’s talents through appropriate training is a waste of resources. Many companies spend more time negotiating and paying for technology and equipment than they do training their staff. Yet, they claim that their employees are their number one asset. By investing in employees, companies are investing in their future success. Training ensures that employees will succeed. By neglecting to provide proper training and development, companies are basically aiding the chance of failure.
Access the complimentary eBook: The Leader’s Guide to Successful Team Building
Sin 4: Forgetting to evaluate business activities
It’s easy to fall into the habit of “business as usual.” It takes little effort to perform tasks by rote or to do things the same way simply because that’s the way they have always been done. You should continually assess the activities of your business. Are they necessary and relevant? If so, these activities should be tracked to assess effectiveness as well as efficiency. Being able to quantify your successes makes it easier to set goals and to motivate employees with concrete data. Who doesn’t love to hear that their hard work has paid off?
Read: 5 things You Must Do to Scale Your Company
Sin 5: Withholding feedback
Just as you must evaluate your business activities, you should also evaluate employees on a regular basis. Whether through performance reviews or conversations during the course of daily activities, meaningful, constructive feedback is necessary to produce good performance to help employee career development. Start communicating from the beginning with employees about your expectations and their performance. End-of-year reviews often highlight past occurrences, but it is much more effective and motivating to continually communicate with employees about their futures. This will also enable mistakes or miscommunications to be fixed earlier, and leave less to clean up later.
Read: The Annual Performance Review Doesn’t Have to be Painful
Sin 6: Assuming that you’re doing a great job
Assuming that your customers and employees are satisfied simply because you have not received any complaints is not necessarily an accurate barometer. Your business should have mechanisms in place to encourage customer and employee feedback. Social networking sites, website options, and mobile applications today allow for a multitude of easy ways for consumers to offer valuable feedback. Implementing valuable suggestions from customers will improve your company’s success. Take this feedback seriously; it is invaluable! Encourage your employees to give you feedback also.
Read the blog: How to Give Feedback to Your Boss Without Getting Fired.
Sin 7: Failing to constantly market your business
Failing to understand the relationship between marketing and sales can be detrimental to any organization. Take a look at some of the most successful companies today, such as McDonalds and Coca Cola; they became global giants, and stayed there because of ingenious marketing campaigns to back up their outstanding sales. Even businesses with excellent sales forces should actively market themselves. Marketing, PR, research, and advertising are critical. These disciplines provide strategies for identifying new markets, communicating with prospects and clients, and establishing your brand and message among all of your channels. Marketing and technology is constantly evolving, especially in the last decade with the popularity of social media. Failure to actively pursue these new strategies will impede your business’s ability to compete.
Watch the video: Aligning Sales and Leadership in Your Business
Effective leadership is achievable through effort and understanding. Leaders who are most successful are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and will work to create strengths from their weaknesses. Leaders set the frameworks for the companies they oversee. With knowledge of common “sins,” leaders can better equip themselves to take preventative measures for a better future.
If you would like learn more about how you can apply this, and other Leadership Skills to grow your business and profits, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.