One of the interesting people I met on Twitter and now interact with regularly is MJ Gottlieb. MJ is an experienced and successful life-long entrepreneur. MJ takes a different approach (one that I appreciate) to adding value to others and sharing ideas. He professes people pick up information better by telling them what not to do. Specifically he believes entrepreneurs can learn better from others mistakes rather than from their successes. Visit MJ’s Blog Here
What Not To Do As A Leader
So today I am going to take his approach on Leadership. I frequently write about my insights on leadership at another one of my blogs here Leadership Insights From The Arete Guy . Today I am going to review what I believe are the top 5 Leadership Mistakes – Or The top 5 behaviors you want to avoid as a Leader. In my 35 years of business experience I have been on the receiving end of every one of these. In full disclosure – I also have been on the giving end and as a result felt the effects on both sides of the behavior.
Top 5 Leadership Mistakes
1 - Focus on tactics and not strategy. Most experienced business people can do the tactical day-to-day stuff in their sleep. I compare it to loving to play checkers and avoiding playing chess. Great effective leaders are always thinking a couple moves ahead. Non-Leaders love to pay the most attention to what is right in front of them most of the time. Want to stay a non-leader – Play Checkers Not Chess
2 – Go Ahead! Violate your co-workers, employees, suppliers and affiliates trust. Even if you don’t lie to your associates – Over-promise and under-deliver regularly. Promise the solution is just around the corner! The new product release – which is 6 months behind – will be the best ever and then miss your delivery time again. After all it is worth waiting for. Focus on the Sizzle and hype more than the substance. Hide it as “motivation” This is the slow burn method of violating trust and the most difficult to remedy.
3 – Don’t be focused – flip-flop on what’s urgent and important. When focused be focused on the Problem of the day and the work of the day constantly. Write it off to good customer service but realize you are taking the easy path. Follows close at hand to not being a strategy master. Without the vision of a strategy its always priotities of the moment, busy but not reaching long-term objectives.
4 – Be selfish, Be inaccessible and Be user unfriendly. Have a closed door policy. Make it clear by your behavior that you think you are more important and what you have to do is more important that other people’s work. Don’t reach out and speak with your small customers – after all if they are small their ideas and opinions are small too. Don’t believe in being a servant leader and serving others – after all you pay your employees aren’t they there to work for you?
5 – Do What I Say Not What I Do. I made this company what it is today! I know what I am talking about and so I know the best way for you to do things because you couldn’t possibly know what I know and bring it to bear when needed. So you have to do it this way. I am great enough to wing-it because I have so much great experience. If you do it this way I know it will work, don’t ask me when was the last time I did it that way!
What Will Your Leadership Legacy Be?
You know what – Ten years from now no one will remember how good you did day-to-day stuff. What they will remember about you is how you made them feel! Did you value them in word and deed? Did you do the little things that add up to what you really feel. Did you treat them they way they wanted to be treated? (The Platinum Rule). Did you treat someone politely and professionally – which no one will remember – or did you go out of your way to make their day? The difference between the effort in those behaviors is not so significant but the impact is the essence of Leadership. But then again this post is about being a Non-Leader so keep on doing what you are doing.