Six Mistakes Leaders Make

Years ago, I had the privilege of working for someone in our recruiting firm whom I consider to be a great leader. Was he flawless? No, he had his idiosyncrasies as we all do. But Hector had an infectious optimism and a sense of fun that spread to those around him.

One day, he assigned a new task to me. I was immediately intimidated and unsure about whether I could do it. He sat at the computer with me and enthusiastically taught me a few nuances about the software and explained the value of what I was doing. By the time he went over everything twice and answered my hesitant questions thoroughly (I always take notes and get a repeat explanation before I take off!), not only was I able to execute the task, but I was also excited to do so! I felt empowered and confident that I could perform such an important and necessary job in helping improve our recruiters’ performance.

When I read the following article about mistakes leaders sometimes make, I recalled my happy experience with Hector. Jack and Suzy Welch wrote this:

Self-confidence is the lifeblood of success. When people have it, they’re bold. They try new things, offer ideas, exude positive energy, and cooperate with their colleagues instead of surreptitiously attempting to bring them down. When they lack self-confidence, it’s just the opposite. People cower. They plod. And they spread negativity with every word and gesture.

But all too often leaders ignore (or neglect) this very basic fact of the human condition. Why is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they just don’t understand that it is part of their job to instill self-confidence in their people. It may even be said that it’s their first job. You cannot unleash the creative power of individuals who doubt themselves.

What made Hector such a great leader was this exact trait–he saw it as part of his job to inspire self-confidence in me. And I wasn’t the only beneficiary. He spent specific time mentoring others on the team, individually addressing needs to encourage and equip them to recruit the best talent for our clients. It is in Hector’s DNA to develop and build up his direct reports.

The Welches always write articles worth reading, and their article “Six Deadly Sins of Leadership” really hits home by addressing issues such as being inauthentic and talking more than listening. If you’ve ever been guilty of being so fair your team can’t tell who the high performers are, or caring more about the numbers than the people producing them, click here to read the full article.

By Marcianne Kuethen, Marketing Director

Need help refocusing your employee? Giving a performance review can help.

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