Updated: May 1, 2019
You’ve mastered the art of collaborative leadership and you’ve abolished the suffocating principals of traditional leadership, or so you thought. Being a great leader is a continuously improving concept; so don’t be surprised if there are some bad habits you’re guilty of. What makes you a great leader is that you’re constantly improving and looking for areas of opportunities to revamp, revive and reform!
1. Open Door Policy - Sorta
It’s in your company policy, procedures and manuals; in fact, you regularly emphasize your open door policy during some of your meetings. You’ve had instances where employees have come to you with concerns or comments that you’ve embraced and you’re grateful for implementing your company’s exceptional open door policy. Yes, you talk the talk and most times walk it too, but there have been instances where you have indirectly suggested they follow the dreaded chain of command. Any response that suggests that you are going to talk to their immediate team leader communicates “you should have just talked to your manager about this issue”. Another way you may be contradicting your open door policy is by seeming inconvenienced by the employee. Pay attention to your non-verbal cues and make sure your door is not the only thing that’s open. Referring your team member back to your assistant to schedule a time, immediately asking them to come back at a later time or simply not paying attention because your mind is scattered are bad habits that leaders who truly believe in open door policies are guilty of.
2. Knowing it All
Yes, you’ve been placed in the position you’re in because you possess a certain skill set and knowledge that allow you to lead your team successfully. However, as you already know; you cannot be successful in your role all by yourself. Having answers to all questions all the time, may seem like a good thing and for the most part it is; until it isn’t. Giving unsolicited advise is one thing leaders do that annoys their teams the most. The thing is, telling your team members during lunch time about great organizational tips that you learnt during your years as an administrator is nice of you, but probably not needed. If you find yourself constantly giving advise and listening less to your team, you’re probably guilty of this bad habit.
3. Untimely Self Praising
Chances are everyone in your organization knows who you are and how you got there (trust me, word gets around). Some of you are probably reading this and thinking, “oh, I don’t have that problem”. You could be guilty of this bad habit even in the slightest of ways. For example, reminding your team that you’ve been with the company for thirty long years during your year-end Christmas party or talking about the challenges you faced when you were attaining your fifth degree while working full time - these are all admirable stories and you should be proud of them. However, as a leader you don’t need to talk about your accomplishments, skill set, education or lengthy experiences every chance you get. Those very qualities that make you great, should and probably do speak for themselves in the way you lead your team. Be tactful! Authentic opportunities to share your success will present themselves and when they do, seize the moment.