But here I am going to reveal to you some of the biggest leadership problems and how to avoid mistakes when it comes to getting people together that are working toward a common goal.
Few years ago, when I was working at a three star restaurant in NYC (according to New York Times), trying to make a living, and paying my bills, the management there seemed to barking orders and trying to tell me what to do all the time. That was not just with me, but everyone who worked there. They were trying to tell what other people to do for better performance, and acting out like “the boss” and projecting fear and guilt to those who did not perform well.
What’s wrong with that, you may ask yourself? Here’s what I found out as a result of trying to tell another person what to do and showing some “authority” so that they can do a better job.
The people who worked there, they were not only doing what the managers wanted them to do, but often they did things in the opposite way, having their own agendas. Is that really represents the incompetence of the employees of this restaurant? Or the incompetence of the management team?
To be honest, I do not know. But if you try to be over others (even if you are the business owner) you are probably going to get away with this, in the first 2-3 months. But if you preaching at others, if they make mistakes, or not performing well, then we really have a problem.
If you even have great people on your team, but for some reason they make a mistake, and if you yelling at them for not doing the job right, or whatever, you are not only destroying that person’s dignity, but also that person is losing the respect of you. This may lead to serious problems down the road.
Here are some common leadership problems, and how to fix them:
1) Never criticize those who work for you, because of a past event. We all make mistakes, but you do not want to criticize your staff for something that already happened, because there’s no way of changing that – the damage is already done. So how to react upon such situations?
When they make a mistake, let them accept responsibility for it. They have to admit for making that mistake, because if they are not emotionally attached to that mistake, it is very likely to be repeated or even worse – not caring too much about it. Let them tell the truth, and what did they learn from that mistake. Try to focus the conversation on the lesson, the learning experience, not on the mistake itself.
Focus on the future, not on the criticism, just discovery. Find out what caused that mistake, and what can be done next time so that it may not be repeated. Simply because you can do something in the future, but you can’t change the past – mistakes live always in the past.
2) Never show any negativity. If the mistake has damaged and cost you a lot of money, get over with it. You have to position or structure your communication with them in a way that’s going to make them feel empowered, supported and stronger. You do not want them to feel bad about themselves, because this is going to affect their performance in the future in a negative way.
3) Never bark orders, and tell others what to do. Unless you are a big business with 500+ employees that can hire people with no skills, and take years to train them, as a small business owner, you want to always pick the best people for the job. You have to be able to take the fruit that falls off the tree, only the best people. And simply, if you tell them what to do, or trying to teach them something in what they are really good at will be a complete non-sense. You are the supporter now, providing them with everything they need to make things happen. If you are acting like the boss, and trying to take the authority on the subject, by showing them things, they are going to feel intimidated, and not showing their full potential, because of the chains you put around their hands.
You want to let them fully express themselves in the work they do, in the way and the style they are most comfortable with.
I did not figure out non of this on my own. All those concepts and ideas I’ve learned from Brian Tracy, who has dealt with over 10 companies, and thousands employees in the last 30-40 years.
I highly recommend his book on leadership, because it has some modern ideas and aspects of leadership which “traditional leadership” education does not teach. Get a copy of “How The Best Leaders Lead” by Brian Tracy