It’s ok. Team leader mistakes happen all the time.
What’s more important is how you learn from these mistakes. That doesn’t mean you dwell on them or lose sleep over what happened. It means you try to avoid making the same error over and over again.
Some team leader mistakes can have detrimental impacts on their team, and a lot of it can be traced back to not defining roles and responsibilities. Sometimes you might not even know you’re even doing something wrong.
So how do you avoid team leader mistakes? Here’s what to look out for or ask yourself if you’re already doing some of these things. It might be time to stop and reevaluate your approach.
Stepping on Toes
No one wants to step on their peer’s toes. It can immediately cause conflict and impact the team environment. If you’re implementing something that is going to affect another team, then make sure you have a sidebar with that leader and bring them up to speed. They may even have some advice that can help.
Pointing the Finger
Every leader wants to make an impact. A good impact. But, no one is perfect. If something doesn’t play out the way you hoped, it’s no good pointing the finger at something or someone else. Own it and talk about what you learned from the experience. You’ll find people will respect this more rather than you putting the blame elsewhere.
Letting Pride Get in the Way
Many leaders don’t believe in asking for help. They think it shows weakness. This is pride, and it’s something you need to get out of your head, especially if you want to grow as a leader. You can’t be an expert at everything. Asking for help means working as a team, and this is an important part of being a leader.
Operating in Isolation
You can’t excel as a leader if you’re working in a silo. Sharing is caring, especially in the workplace. You need to be open with what you’re doing with your team as well as how they can support the rest of the organisation. Breaking away from everyone else is no benefit to anyone, including yourself.
Forgetting About Upskilling
There’s a reason they say leaders are learners. You need to be constantly looking for ways to improve your skills. Search for ways to develop new abilities and practice them in your day to day activities. If you don’t upskill yourself, you won’t end up evolving as a leader.
It’s common for many leaders to hold on to everything. They want to prove themselves and show their boss that they’re capable. However, delegating is not something to be ashamed of. It helps free your time up for more important tasks. It also develops your direct reports in new skills and helps them get ready for a future role.
Getting Burned Out
Burnout is a real thing. You need to take regular breaks from work so you can stop and reset. It will help clear your head so you can return to the office at your best. If you’re feeling sluggish or your head is a bit foggy, it’s time to put in some annual leave.
The “it’s not my job” comment
This sentence should never pass your lips. Every time you’re provided with a task or chore that’s outside of your job description, it’s an opportunity to prove yourself and build your brand. If you do a great job, then it means you’ll likely be offered more opportunities, and new doors will open. So it might seem odd that you’re being asked to do something out of the ordinary, but make the most of it. It may never happen again.
How to Avoid Team Leader Mistakes
Again, there’s nothing wrong with making team leader mistakes. It’s how you grow and become better at your job. But you need to be self-aware and know where you’re going wrong so you can correct yourself. Once you’re clear on this, you will evolve as a leader.
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