With summer temperatures soaring and seasonal business heating up, keeping your cool may be a challenge some days. Success in leadership isn’t just about doing things right. It’s also about avoiding mistakes leaders make that, over time, can take a toll on your business. Check out these common mistakes leaders make, and learn how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Sharing Your Big Picture Goals
It takes your entire team working together to achieve your goals. That can’t happen, however, if you don’t share those goals with your team. This goes for the overall mission of your business and all the smaller goals that will help you get there. When you share your mission and goals with your staff, break them down into clear team objectives. When you do this, you show employees their place in the big picture. And by outlining goals to help them achieve the mission, you give them something to shoot for together.
Mistake #2: Not Committing to Ongoing Training
At successful companies, training is a process, not an event. Your staff is your most important resource. Recognize employees by training and re-training them monthly, weekly, daily — even hourly. Customize your approach to suit each employee’s individual role. Use a blended training strategy, implementing a variety of styles including online courses, pre-shift meetings, and on-the-job mentoring.
Mistake #3: Not Delegating Tasks
Even if you wanted to, you can’t do it all. Effective task delegation is a win-win. It helps you keep control of your to-do list and it helps employees learn and grow in their positions. When delegating tasks, make sure employees have the tools they need to be successful. When you’re delegating, remember that there is more than one way to complete most tasks. If you’re clear about the goals and standards you expect, then methodology shouldn’t be an issue.
Mistake #4: Not Communicating Effectively
Successful leadership depends on productive communication. You have to communicate effectively with your employees and you have to make sure your employees are communicating well with each other. To keep your business running smoothly, you have to communicate effectively with vendors. And, most importantly, you have to communicate effectively with customers to ensure they’re receiving excellent service. Be clear in all your communications, and be sure to listen as much as you speak.
Mistake #5: Not Paying Attention to Customers
As a leader, you set the tone for the service your staff delivers to customers. To ensure every customer receives exceptional service, you need to be on the floor, front and center, leading the charge. If you spend the day in your office, only to be bothered in the event of a crisis, your employees will pick up on your indifferent approach to customer service. But if you’re out interacting with customers, in good times and in bad, you’ll be setting the example that customer service is a priority.