7 Sure-Fire Ways to Derail Your Leadership

Leaders today are busy addressing new challenges in this uncertain economy, many times without considering their own behaviors and attitudes in light of how others see them. This can be detrimental. Leaders need followers: loyal employees, suppliers, vendors and customers. It may be time to slow-down, assess and repair any damage before it’s too late.

Speak up without thought. Don’t confuse fearlessness with confidence and tactfulness. Be responsible for what and how you say anything, both spoken and in writing. Otherwise, people will tune you out. Those taken aback by your message will scrutinize your actions and infer a low level of core values. Truly listen. Hear things you don’t want to hear. Respond diplomatically. Be genuinely effective.

Accuse others of spam or junk. Too often social media connections are viewed as accumulating numbers. Accusing others of Spam or Junk when they reach out to you can hurt your ability to attract new clients. You never know who they know! Learn to reach out to others to make a difference – not just make a sale – and respond appropriately.  If you don’t wish to receive their information, simply unsubscribe.

Lack of follow-up. Many people today don’t follow-up if they don’t readily see a purpose in doing so (aka Hot prospect ready to buy now). Unfortunately, people can be very shrewd in what they share with you. Too often you find out later they purchased from your competitor, who did follow-up.

Do it my way. Leaders in their quest to keep their bottom lines positive forget that their employees know their job better than their boss. But learning new systems and procedures by management’s mandate is not easy for employees. Stop pretending to listen! Ask employees for their input and incorporate their ideas appropriately. Ensure they feel valued. Make ongoing training and development a priority.

Bits of information. We make decisions and declarations based upon the tiniest pieces of information. Many times there is no factual basis. This behavior will have others see you as a poor decision-maker. Respect differences in opinion and balance this with the facts. Disparaging or bullying others to your way to thinking will not elicit the best response from others.

Delay important decisions. Uncertainty about which path to choose is understandable. Continually using it as an excuse is not. Your co-workers are tired of hearing about it!  Ask the right people for input. Hire a business coach for guidance. Make certain you understand the pro’s and con’s of your decisions. Don’t dismiss legal and financial implications as unimportant or as something that won’t happen to you. Develop sustainable practices to ensure replicable results.

No strategic direction. It’s time to dust off your goals for 2011. Review, recharge and get back in action to wrap up 4Q. Work with your business coach to determine which goals that seemed promising last January will provide the best ROI now. Reliance upon your own mental monologue will not provide the clarity required to move forward. Establish focused action steps and stay away from busy work. Learn how to manage for results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011

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