5 Leadership Traps and How To Avoid Them

Leadership TrapsThe tendency to drift off course is one of many Leadership Traps. Leaders put out fires all day, everyday; that draws them away from being their best. Sometimes the calmness is so short lived that returning to their best becomes a mythical wish. These leaders eventually risk getting caught in traps. They lose sight of their higher purpose and that ultimately reduces their impact.

Here are 5 Leadership Traps and How To Avoid Them

1. Micromanaging is one of the major Leadership Traps.

Leaders fall into this trap through fear. They are fearful that results will wane, productivity will decline and profits will fall. They believe no one can do things as well as they do and they must dictate not only what to do but how to do it. This is one of those Leadership Traps that takes immense energy and it drains you off course. You can’t keep up.

To avoid micromanaging: Believe in yourself and your team. Step back, relax and observe. Look around at the productivity and success through the lens of abundance not scarcity. Trust your team and watch them take off and create even more success.

2. Reacts Rather Than Responds is another of the Leadership Traps to watch out for.

This can manifest in somewhat restrained ways like a facial expression of disapproval all the way to unrestrained screaming or snapping and grumbling at team members. This is one of those Leadership Traps that well up from the inside.

To increase your responding and decrease reacting take the time to get ahold of your moods before others see them. Internally count to 5 and note what is coming up. It’s OK to feel a reaction just don’t say it. Avoid regret, apologies, and possible career plateau. Know thyself!

3. Doesn’t Recognize Team Members. Not “seeing” your team is another one of the major Leadership Traps.

Some leaders feel they must keep things moving and don’t have time or energy for people. This points to a lack of awareness of others, social skill and interpersonal skill deficits. And possibly worse, not caring. This is one of those Leadership Traps that show an undesirable side of you that should be avoided.

To increase recognizing team members create connection. Effective leaders know that business is about people and relationships. You don’t have to be Friends on Facebook with your team but noticing, saying “thank you” and commenting on specific, individual contribution is priceless for building team spirit one person at a time.

4. Always Has The Answer.

Leaders who must always deliver the answer or have a need to get the last word in make team members feel small, stifled and discourages their ideas, responses and engagement. This is one of those Leadership Traps that shows your weakness or insecurity.

To avoid always giving the answer, take a breath, slow down and hold your tongue. If you can’t muster the strength to say, “what do you think?” Invite comments and input from team members by not saying anything.

5. Withholds Information.

Leaders are the first to know of change, new initiatives, and protocol and policy changes. Maybe not intentionally but leaders often don’t share what they know. They may not want to take the time or they feel it’s small and unimportant but team members are put at ease by knowing. This is one of those Leadership Traps that makes you look like you want to control everything.

Anxiety declines when employees know what is going on, what to expect. If people don’t know, they make it up—and that’s never a good plan. It’s in your interest to share information.

Increase sharing by informing team members of what the plans are and what they might expect. Choose your time when you are at your best, ready to openly share. You will reduce anxiety and distraction and build trust in the process. All of which will foster increased productivity.

To ensure you always operate above the line with a higher purpose, higher ambition, do at least one thing everyday to ensure your leadership mentality is not on autopilot. Your leadership presence of mind needs to be right up front taking precedence even over a crisis. Remember you are first a leader. 

Here are some leader tools.

Ensure you are always the leader, always at your best. Download my 10-Minute Leadership Habit white paper and begin making each day a step toward your greatness.

Brian has helped hundreds and he can help you increase your leadership strength.

©Brian Braudis, 2018 All rights reserved

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