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Five mistakes newer leaders are prone to make

Mistakes are expected in leadership. Some are more dangerous than others. I wrote a book on this, "Mistakes Leaders Make." You can order it on this blog site under the tab Hand-Krafted Books.

Certain kinds of mistakes are more common for younger leaders just starting out on their leadership journey.

Dan Rockwell shares five mistakes new leaders are prone to make.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Inexperience is opportunity. Learning from mistakes promotes growth and develops confidence. But making unnecessary mistakes is foolish.

Don’t learn everything from personal experience.

You grow the most at the beginning. Wise leaders learn from the experience of others.

The Five Biggest Mistakes New Leaders Make:

#1. Leading an unprioritized life. Leaders with too many priorities fail at everything they do. The top three priorities for all leaders:

  1. Priority #1: Personal development and well-being.  
  2. Priority #2: Family.
  3. Priority #3: People development and relationships.

You’ll spend most of your time working in and on your business. Just don’t neglect your priorities.

#2. Working too hard. A bias to action – something most leaders possess – leads to low performance as time passes, unless you learn how to prioritize and rest. Learn to trust the people around you.

You can’t bring your best when you’re lost in the business.

#3. Chasing too many opportunities. Limit the sphere of your activities to the things you do well. Your first question is, “What needs to be done?” Drucker said the second question is, ““Of those things that would make a difference, which are right for me?”

#4. Neglecting feedback, both giving and receiving. Ask teammates:

  1. Based on my use of time, what are my priorities from your point of view?
  2. Based on my interactions, how am I making others feel about themselves?
  3. Based on my strengths, when am I at my best?

#5. Having all the answers. Tap into your ignorance. The practice of “not-knowing” elevates leaders more than having all the answers. 

  1. Lead with confidence while staying curious.
  2. Ask, “What else?”
  3. Ask, “What do you think?”

Bonus mistakes new leaders make:

  1. Promoting new people too soon.
  2. Micromanaging.
  3. Under-communicating mission and vision.
  4. Assuming others know what you want.
  5. Assuming you understand people’s motivations.

What mistakes do new leaders make?

How might new leaders avoid common “new leader” mistakes?





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