“It’s lonely at the top.” “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” We are all familiar with these sayings. They basically mean that being on top is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Yes, you can reap huge rewards and benefits, but a single critical mistake can bring it all down. Put this into a leadership context. It can be lonely at the top. You do have your team with you and they can be involved in the decision-making process, but in the end, you as the leader have the final say for every decision. As for the second saying, it can be interpreted as your team as well as other people looking to you for guidance. They expect so much of you that if you fail, that failure will be amplified in their eyes.
Being a leader is a rewarding yet challenging role. Once you achieve this position, you will be faced with a new set of challenges. Challenges that if not handled correctly can take you down a notch. If you are new to a leadership role or are working towards one, prep yourself up by looking at the common pitfalls leaders fall into.
Not giving credit to the team
It is essential for any leader to give credit where credit’s due. It can be so easy, especially if you are new to the leadership role, to take credit for every successful project. Never ever forget your team. For every success, call out major contributions done by your staff or employees. Always put your people first and they will constantly give you their best.
Leading everyone the same way
You are working with people and not machines. You have to adjust your leadership style depending on who you are leading with. Most leaders spend so much time coming up with new incentive schemes and promotions that they sometimes forget that not all people are motivated by monetary or material rewards. Spend time learning about your team members’ temperaments and their motivations. By doing so, you are not limiting yourself to one leadership style, but also unlocking your potential to become a great leader.
Last but not the least, pride. When you accomplish something, it feels great. It feels like you can do everything and anything. Especially when that accomplishment is a leadership role. You feel like you have all the answers. Be careful. Pride comes before the fall. Great leaders are humble. They know that they need others to succeed. They know that they are flawed. Be proud of what you have accomplished, but know that you didn’t do it by yourself.
James Short has been assisting principals and directors lead and grow their businesses for the past six years. Taking them from being stuck, unclear and not moving forward to having that clarity, direction and accountability within their organisation.