As a leader in a business setting, you are likely expected to uphold a series of character traits, morals, and perspectives reflecting the goals of your company and the best interests of your employees. However, while it is never a bad idea to verse yourself in the qualities of a good leader, it is arguably just as important to identify and heed the signs of a poor leader. This approach will give you a clear concept of how not to handle certain situations during a standard work week.
Here are a few “don’ts” to keep in mind as a business leader.
Do not rule with an iron fist
It is crucial to establish constructive dominance in a leadership role — that is, assert yourself as a decision-maker and a company spearhead, but in a manner that reflects your genuine concern for company goals and worker well being — but be sure to keep this mentality in check. No one likes a dictator, a megalomaniac, a bully, or any combination of the three. The best leaders recognize that all individuals in a workplace “serve each other,” rather than follow a hard-and-fast hierarchy of power.
Do not support upward delegation
“Upward delegation” refers to the process of someone passing a problem to a higher-up, soliciting that individual for a solution rather than coming up with one themselves. Be sure to not facilitate this practice if you hold a leadership role, as it will foster a culture of poor work ethic and irresponsibility. If a worker solicits you for an answer to an issue that is clearly in their hands, respectfully remind them that they are capable of handling the matter, maintaining a positive and reassuring tone. You will eliminate upward delegation tendencies while encouraging worker confidence.
Do not play favorites
It is an obvious red flag in leadership, but favoritism happens in more workplaces than many leaders would probably like to admit. There is no reason why you cannot maintain a healthy, friendly relationship with the workers you manage, but make sure your attention is allocated constructively. Too much attention and flattery of a single worker can lead other workers to feel alienated, unappreciated, and even hostile. Favoritism is arguably the easiest way for a leader to derail workplace chemistry.
Do not mishandle company goals
Almost all successful businesses operate on a goal-oriented mindset, using future achievements as a major spurring element in daily and weekly endeavors. With this notion in mind, be sure to manage company goals as efficiently as possible. Present goals clearly during team meetings, break down each goal into smaller, achievable tasks to make them appear less daunting, and above all else, do not let these goals fall on the wayside — keep them at the center of everything you and your team do.