The Most Common Leadership Development Mistakes


Are you starting to create your leadership development plan?

Firstly, congratulations on taking the initiative to improve yourself. Unfortunately, not a lot of leaders look for ways to develop themselves. They’re either too busy with their day job or don’t think they need to get better since they’re already in a leadership position.

But just because you’re getting a plan together doesn’t mean there aren’t leadership development mistakes you could be making. From focusing on only strengths or weaknesses to generic training, there are problems that can cause you to go backward instead of forwards.

If you’re wanting to become a better boss, then make sure to avoid these common leadership development mistakes.

Focussing on Weaknesses or Strengths Only

A good leadership development plan should find the right balance between improving weaknesses while also helping you become better at your natural strengths. Unfortunately, there’s a tendency to primarily focus on what you’re not doing right. But just because you have strengths doesn’t mean there’s not room for improvement here either.

You should also ensure you’re only focusing on attributes that can help you in your current role as well as future leadership positions. The goal is to go forward and help you progress instead of just making you really good at the job you’re currently in.

Targeting the Wrong Traits

When you’re in a leadership position, you’re likely completing many different tasks. The smaller the company, the more you have to complete. However, not all of these will be relevant in your career. Sure, you might have to do a Powerpoint presentation every once and a while or run some SQL reports, but these shouldn’t form part of your leadership development plan.

You should be looking to improve your capability as a manager. This could mean strategic thinking, unconscious bias, and even coaching discussions with various types of employees. A leadership development plan should help you broaden your perspective while improving upon foundations that already exist within you.

Completing Generic Courses

There are some great online courses out there that can help you improve as a leader. A common leadership development plan mistake is to only complete one generic course and move on to the next one. Instead, it’s a good idea to try and view multiple ones so that you get different perspectives. This way, you can pick the bits and pieces that relate to you so you can form your opinion.

The same goes for attending courses within your workplace. Remember, everyone in the room is unlikely to have the same experience as you. They’ll manage different employees and have taken different journeys to get to where they are. That means they will take away different lessons than you might. If you learn from multiple teachers, then you’ll be the one who’s getting ahead.

Ending the Plan

The most common leadership development mistakes involve ending the plan. Just because a timeframe is up or you’ve completed everything on the list doesn’t mean that you’re now the perfect leader, and there’s nothing else for you to learn.

Once your leadership development plan has come to its natural conclusion, you should complete an assessment of where you are now. Then you should start planning what’s next. Where do you need to focus your energies, and what do you need to be able to get the development that you need? You should never want to stop learning. Otherwise, you’re going to end up getting overtaken by your peers.

How to Avoid Leadership Development Mistakes

Leadership development is not something you should start then stop. It should form part of your career up until the day that you retire. There is always something more to learn and attributes that you can improve upon. If you choose to end your plan, then you’re making one of the biggest leadership development mistakes of your life.

If you need resources to form part of your leadership development plan, then make sure to follow the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find tips, tricks, and advice on how to improve your capability and skills. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss another post.

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