Back to Blog Posts

5 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Taking on a New Leadership Role

Aha Moment: Don’t jump into work without jumping into your people.

Taking on a new leadership role is a big step in your career.

Your hard work is paying off and you’re realizing some of the goals that you’ve set for yourself.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of being more task-oriented than people-oriented.

Remember that you’re coming into a group that’s pre-established. People separate themselves into natural groups, politics can come into play and there will be a lot of different personalities for you to learn.

As you transition into your new position, don’t sabotage yourself by making these mistakes.

Leadership Mistake #1: Assuming you’ll be respected just because you’re the boss.

Everyone has heard the phrase, “Respect is earned.”

It’s true.

You need to let people see your character, that you have integrity and that you’re worthy of their respect.

Show them that – even though you’re the boss – you’re able to work with them as a colleague to solve problems.

When you work together, you’re building trust, which is a large component of respect.

Leadership Mistake #2: Putting “Me” before “We”

When you’re a team player, the people under you will be, too.

You should have a shared definition of success and allow everyone to see the vision you have through your eyes.

Providing a concrete vision for everyone to rally around helps people start thinking with a team mentality. The “We” begins to take precedence over the “Me.”

Never be so focused on putting your own stamp on something that you don’t allow people to join with you on your mission.

Foster the idea of teamwork and goals will get accomplished.

Remember, people will not be connected to their work if they’re not connected to their leader.

Leadership Mistake #3: Failing to define success.

What are you all working toward?

When you lead with a specific definition of success, people can see where they fit into the context of the work that gets done.

They feel as if they’re a valuable part of the process.

Make the goal you’re working for clear so everyone knows what you’ll be celebrating.

And never plan a strategy without planning a celebration.

Be specific about those markers of success for individuals, as well as for your team.

Leadership Mistake #4: Giving direction more than giving thanks.

How eager are you to work on a project for someone who doesn’t say thank you?

A lack of gratitude isn’t terribly motivating.

You should be saying thank you twice as much as you’re delegating work.

Great leaders show their gratitude for the effort that’s being put forth and not just the outcome.

Leadership Mistake #5: Focusing on LEADERship and not FOLLOWERship.

A good leader invests in the people who are following him.

It won’t be hard for people to follow you when they have a sense that you’re invested in them.

They’ll follow you when they feel that you’re making an effort to get to know them in four key areas of their lives:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Family
  • Dreams

Get to know these for each of the people working for you and you’ll get a lot in return.

Leaders invest in people

As you seek to be the best leader you can be, put people above the work.

Get to know each individual and in doing so, you’ll earn their respect.

Putting “We” before “Me” and providing concrete goals to work toward together will show those working for you that you’re a team player who doesn’t just care about getting the job done.

Always show gratitude for your workers and the effort that they’re putting in – during the process and not just at the end.

What are some ways you’ve found to get to know your workers on a personal level?