There is no shortage of leadership advice out there. With all of the noise, how can you separate the valid advice from the quality insight? We talk a lot about how to be a great leader on Wright Stuff Radio, so today – we’re going to talk about the worst advice we’ve heard about leadership.
“Fake It, Til You Make it”
This advice may work for certain things in life, but leadership is not one of those things. Today’s 24/7 information society is all about transparency. People can spot a fake a mile away, and they will call you out on it. This is especially true if you are leading a team of millennials.
As a leader, you’re allowed to be human. You’re allowed to not know everything – nobody does. What you shouldn’t do is leave it there. Instead, consider these moments as an opportunity to be a leader. Let your team see you ask for input, let them see you study to solve a problem.
It is better to show your team that you are constantly learning, and always open to new, innovative approaches to problems than it is to guess your way through and lose their trust.
“You Have to Micromanage to Get Results”
There are many ways to be an effective leader, but micromanaging isn’t one of them. In fact, it will often drive your team to seek opportunities elsewhere. High turnover means a higher cost of doing business.
When you are constantly micromanaging your employees, it can be demoralizing. You will make them feel incompetent and frustrated. Micromanaging also stifles creativity and innovation. In a small business where every team member counts, you need every one of those employees ready to present new ideas and see them through.
Remember: Leadership is about growing individuals within your company. You want them to progress, and eventually become leaders themselves. You need to give them the opportunity, freedom, and mentoring to help them build their skills and confidence.
“Leaders Lead from the Front”
There are mixed reviews on this advice. While it is important to let your employees see you leading with confidence and direction, able to make the hard decisions in a time fashion – it is also important for them to feel like you’re in this with them.
If you set a goal for your team, you can inspire them by working alongside them. Checking in often, listening to new ideas, and rewarding great performances. How will you be able to identify your star employees (or your weak ones) if you’re not seeing how they operate day to day?
Lead from the trenches, don’t stay in a tower.
“Do As I Say, Not as I Do”
If you want your team to resent you, then this approach will work well. If you’re asking for long hours on a project, but you cut out early for a three day weekend – you’re not going to have those team members for very long. Alternatively, if they do stick around, they won’t respect your requests and will become lazy about their work.
If you’re going to be a good leader, you need to set the standard in your business. Refuse to cut corners – if you’re going to ask them to stay late, you need to be right there with them. They are adding their valuable time, energy, and ideas to your business, great leaders honor those contributions with more than just a paycheck.