10 Sins A Leader Must Never Commit

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1. Publicly rebuke and embarrass a follower in front of the whole team. If anything a leader must have conventional wisdom to understand that the number one killer move is to publicly undress a team member in front of everyone. It destroys a team’s faith in you as a leader and creates fear rather than respect. If a follower is wrong in his conduct then seek to address and correct their attitude and behavior privately. The whole team will respect you for this. It will show that even if they do wrong you still love them and value their dignity and integrity as unique individuals.

2. Be suspicious of your followers. The worst thing you can do as a leader is to distrust your people. If you do not trust your followers soon they will pick it up and before you know it the whole organization is being run by suspicion and distrust. That is a sure recipe for a failed mission. Nothing except failure can be achieved in such a setting. You have to sow seeds of trust and comradeship in your organization if you are to have lead effectively.

3. Spring surprises on them and inform them of important meetings just shortly beforehand so that they will not have enough time to prepare and you will have something to criticize them about. Many people believe that the best to maintain control over their followers is by making sure that their followers have minimum information about what is going on. That way no one can oust them of their position. That way only them as the leader know what is really going on. The followers should only know what is necessary at that time. They should never see the big picture. That is a sure recipe for disaster. A leader should at all times ensure that every member is privy to what is going on in the organization. That way every team member will ensure their department is up to date and supporting the bigger vision.

4. Criticize all the time. Criticism has never proven to be the best way of motivating a team. I have seen many leaders criticize their surbodinates with the hope of getting better results. They have always been disappointed. For they discovered that their followers went on to do the same thing they had criticized them about and told them to stop. This was not because their followers wanted to spite them or disrespect them. The school of psychological thought has scientifically proven that if you want to create behavioural change in anyone instead of telling them to stop doing what you do not like them to do, tell them what you want them to do. The best way to get the best out of your followers is by telling them exactly what you want them to do and how. Do not forget to compliment them also when they have done it right. Nothing kills initiative and ambition in an organization other than having a leader who is always pointing at your faults and telling you how poor your performance is.

5. Say one thing and mean something else. One of the key attributes of every leader is that a leader is a person who keeps their word. A leader is someone whose word means something. If a leader tells they will do something you can take it to the bank. They will keep their word even if it costs them something or is painful. Their word is their bond. A poor leader is one who when they say something they do not stick to it.

6. Believe you know it all. You do not need help from anyone. It is only a foolish leader s/he who believes they know it all and do not need help from any one. All the greatest leaders I know in history had mentors. You need the advise and wisdom of those who have been there before and seen it all. You will save yourself time, energy and resources by listening to the coaching of those who have been there before you.

7. Be secretive about your dealings and conduct as a leader. The best way to earn the respect and trust of every one of your followers is to live your life before them. Be honest and open with them. Share with them your strengths and weaknesses and you will be amazed to realize they have so much they want to share with you. It starts with you taking the first step of opening up to them then they open up to you. That is how effective strong teams and organizations are made.

8. Demand respect. After all you are the boss. Respect is earned and not demanded. Only dictators demand respect. Real leaders earn respect. They earn their followers admiration and respect by how they conduct themselves and by how accountable they are to their followers about their organizations activities and vision.

9. Prioritise the leaders welfare at the expense of the followers’. True leaders know that being a leader is like being a parent. Just as a parent has to secure their children’s welfare before their own, a leader has to make sure his or her followers needs are met first before they can even think of their own. That is the mark of a mature leader. Because a leader sees far beyond what everyone else sees they can sacrifice for the well being of their followers. When the followers see their leaders sacrifice and commitment to their welfare they are willing to risk even their lives for the accomplishment of the vision.

10. Ask your followers where they want to go so you can take them there.

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