7 habits that detract from entrepreneurial leadership

No matter what type of business you run or what stage of your process you are in, your leadership skills will greatly affect your results.

The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.

Leadership plays a critical role in the success or failure of any business. In the early stages of a startup , a leader can inspire dedication and commitment to his employees , or alienate them forever. In the later stages of a large corporation, the leader's job is to set the tone for the organization and keep everyone aligned under the same vision.

7 habits that detract from entrepreneurial leadership
7 habits that detract from entrepreneurial leadership

No matter what type of business you run or what stage of your process you are in, your leadership skills will greatly affect your results.

Here we leave you the 7 toxic habits that you need to avoid if you want to be a good leader for your team:

1. Over control

Excessive control is an annoying habit that usually appears without you realizing it.

It can start with guiding your employees through a specific process you want them to use, but before you know it, escalate to a point where you're interfering in almost every aspect of your employees' work.

It is a toxic habit for many reasons. First, you are detracting from the skills of your employees. You hired them to do something, so take a step back and trust that they will. Second, you are dominating the workforce, stifling innovation, and forcing everyone to do things your way. And lastly, you are wasting your own time that you should spend on more productive things.

2. Using negative stimuli

Negativity is not always born of malice, but it is almost always universally destructive. There are times when negative feedback is not only appropriate but even necessary, but if you only use negative stimuli as a motivational tool you are going to sow resentment in your employees.

Telling someone that you made a mistake is a good thing, but try to focus on solutions and future efforts rather than scolding someone for what happened.

Negative stimuli are punishing someone or making him feel bad for what they did, something that makes them feel inferior and unappreciated. Better shift your focus to positive encouragement by highlighting the good things they've done, something that boosts the confidence and morale of your people.

3. Neglecting the individual

It is dangerous to use a single approach for a group of people. It doesn't matter if you have 2 employees working for you or 200, relying on a single strategy for everyone will be inefficient in most cases.

You can establish some fundamental rules, processes and brand guidelines that everyone must follow. However, if you want to be a successful leader, you have to communicate with your people on an individual level.

Find what they like and what they don't. Learn how they work best. Get to know them personally. We all have different needs in our workplace and the only way to meet those needs is to speak directly with your employees.

4. Postpone or avoid big decisions

One of your main responsibilities as a leader is to make decisions, especially difficult decisions that no one else wants to make.

When you feel pressured by such a decision, delaying, procrastinating, or avoiding it sounds tempting.

For example, if one of your employees is not performing to your standards, it is easier to ignore the situation and expect it to improve than to confront the employee with feedback. However, ignoring or avoiding these kinds of problems will make you seem inefficient as a leader. Your problems will get even worse and your employees will respect you less.

5. Avoid conflicts through deception

As a leader you will have to start some difficult conversations and deal with problems that would be easier to ignore.

It may seem easier to tell your people that they are doing a great job or to say that your company is making a lot of money than to recognize a critical inefficiency or an obstacle that is preventing you from growing.

However, as an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to confront those problems because avoiding them or cheating on your employees will create false perceptions and prevent those problems from finding a solution.

6. Be adamant

If you want to make good decisions and maximize the happiness of your employees, you need to be open to new options.

This includes being willing to listen to outside opinions, being willing to bend some rules, and giving your employees flexibility on your own terms and expectations.

An uncompromising leader is often perceived as arrogant, distant, unreasonable, and inaccessible, making employees feel unmotivated and resentful. Rather, allow flexibility in your leadership and always make your employees feel welcome by reminding them that they can approach you when they need it.

7. Make public demonstrations of power

Being a leader puts you in a position of power, but that doesn't mean you can demonstrate it recklessly or publicly. Doing so will instill resentment among your employees and destroy the team environment you have worked for.

For example, running, scolding, or sending someone in public makes you look mean and irresponsible. Rather, stay calm at all times, use your power only when necessary, and show respect for your employees by talking to them privately.

Recognizing these toxic habits is only half the battle. Once you realize that you are making a serious mistake in your leadership style, you need to correct it by modifying those habits and replacing them with more positive alternatives. It is not an easy process, but if you remain committed to being a better leader, your efforts will give you many rewards.

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