Just because a person has a c-level title doesn't mean they don't make mistakes, according to career services company Lee Hecht Harrison, Boston. Indeed, leaders might be armed with plenty of technical skills and experience, but may still be making critical mistakes in managing their teams, which can negatively impact their organization's bottom line, the company adds. "One common leadership mistake is a lack of team-building skills," says Keith Emerson, a senior vice president and general manager of Lee Hecht Harrison. "If, as a leader, one of my primary concerns is not the welfare of my team, then I'll never know just how successful we can be. Positive regard for your people leads to the best customer service, the highest level of contribution by each team member and the highest profits." Lee Hecht Harrison offers other common executive leadership mistakes:
- Failure to make decisions or delaying the process and losing a competitive advantage. Perhaps being too afraid of making a mistake is a mistake. Most executives make good decisions when they actually make them, but many are fearful of taking risk and lose important opportunities.
- Lack of people skills: Your employees are your most valuable asset and give an organization its competitive edge. The ability to listen, be consistent and evoke trust is crucial in managing a team and creates an atmosphere of commitment.
- Not investing in your people: While most executives see the return on investment in maintaining and improving equipment for their company, the investment in one's employees through providing career development and coaching opportunities pays off even faster.
- Wasting time on the insignificant: Use your employee resources and trust your key people with decision-making responsibilities. Giving more autonomy to responsible employees will free you up from putting out fires that can be handled by others.