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Avoid these classic leadership mistakes

Source | | Jane Perdue

Pay, prestige and the opportunity to serve all come with being a leader. Know what else does, too? Pressure. Lots of it. Most of it not good.

There’s pressure to perform, conform, make money, keep the boss happy and do more with less. The demands come from every direction in the organization — up, down, across –as well as from within. We feel the pressure in discussions with the boss, at performance-review time and in interactions with our colleagues or direct reports.

Fearing the shame of failure, leaders find ways to deal with the pressure. Some coping methods can evolve into counterproductive practices that, over time, sabotage our performance and morale.

Pressure mistake No. 1: Having all the answers

People tend to look to the leader for solutions when problems arise. The leader feels pressure to have answers — and gives them, every time. This “do-as-I-say” cycle eventually kills engagement and fuels egotism.

Inclusive leaders avoid the all-knowing trap by balancing giving answers with asking questions. Even if they know the answer, effective leaders ask questions to build their staff’s critical thinking skills and bring them into the solution. They involve.

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