MY FIRST THREE MISTAKES AS A “LEADER”

MY FIRST THREE MISTAKES AS A “LEADER”

Well around 17 years back I first wore the cap of designated people manager. In many ways, my first leadership role helped shape me into who I am today- It taught me the importance of being dedicated and committed to getting job done. It also helped in evolving my understanding, how training and development are crucial in shaping young professionals into future leaders. That’s the reason I am so supportive of capability building for young and upcoming professionals (Check www.hcnconnect.in for more info)

Becoming a manager first time was incredibly exciting – but extremely challenging. It’s you as a leader have the power to effect change, make an impact and motivate the employees to do bigger and better things.

But like any other new manager, I realized I made many mistakes. When my mentor pointed out that though you are a popular boss , but not an effective leader. He mentioned that “In the excitement of new role, most new managers tend to do many things at the same time with a great speed to prove that they deserved the promotion.”

Some of these mistakes may be obvious; some may be a bit more obscure. They are all critical. So sharing a few mistakes to learn from my early days :

1.Doing My Teammates Job Myself!

In order to achieve objectives and move things fast, On one hand I started overtaking the job of my teammates and on the other hand ensure that they are happy by not asking them challenging questions. Eventually the outcome was that I was becoming impatient in getting desired results while my team was confused that inspite of following my instructions the outcome was not satisfactory

  • As a Leader, you can’t focus on individual tasks—you have to focus your effort on helping your team complete their assignments. Now, your success is dependent on the success of your team. So you won’t spend your time “doing;” Now your job is coaching, supervising, and guiding your team members

2.Copying Style of My Previous Bosses

In my initial days as designated Manager , I used to simply imitate my previous bosses, How they used to take decisions and plan ahead for the business . Well there was nothing wrong in it, but then I realized that those situations and his maturity were at different level. It took some time to develop my own leadership style and probably the one competency that I developed in those days was “PATIENCE”

  • So if you think it will take you three years to be successful, add three more!

3.Team Morale

When there is crisis, the team looks upon you for solutions and support. Being new to my role , Once I advised my new joinee on what needs to be done to accomplish a given task. But even before he gets a chance to do it or show results, I used to get impatient. I used to remind him , keep a check on him and again tell him how to do it.

  • Constantly putting undue pressure on the teammates, not giving them enough space to breathe , telling them same thing again and again puts the morale of the team down & is a classic sign of leadership failure and eventually you start doing his/her job because you can’t wait.

Becoming a great leader isn’t all about the right things that you say or do! And this reminds me of an old saying that it takes time  for a sapling to grow into a plant and not because you give them twice the amount of water and extra manure. They take their own time to grow. And that’s true with business and people too.

Its like, You might have the right medicine for the disease to cure , but an overdose of anything can kill as well ! Leaders must make things happen fast. But not faster. Patience can be leader’s best friend!

Though there are many mistakes I made , but these three are the one which rate higher than others . If you resonate with these leadership mistakes, you can leave a comment or share it with others who may be benefitted!

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