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Top Ten Leadership Mistakes

Over several years of coaching leaders, I have observed many common mistakes they make. Some have clear signals, others are a bit more subtle. The following is a compiled list of those mistakes. Use it to assess how you are leading your team and be aware of how it affects your leadership abilities.

Failing to Act When Needed

It can happen in a moment’s notice. You see an inappropriate behavior and you let it go. Next time, ask your Direct to explain his/her reasoning for this behavior, then offer an alternative action.

Managing Not Leading

The leadership mistake here is acting as a custodian of your team versus a steward of them. By steward I mean living as though their behavior is also your behavior. What they do reflects on you. Are they presenting the image you want?

Driven By Looking Good To Your Superior

At times a leader will appease their superior versus presenting the required plan to get buy-in for a solution that resolves an important business issue. Looking good is preferred while accomplishing the intended goal is sacrificed. Ultimately, this behavior will not produce the results your supervisor wants so, remain true to that vision and confidently deliver the plan.

Buying a Direct’s Story Versus Asking Questions

We want to believe everything our Directs say. But as noted above, Directs will, at times, present issues in a way that makes them look good to you. When your instinct says I’m not sure this situation is really true, probe to get underneath the issue.

Fearing Confrontation

Ahh…but the solutions could lead to confrontations. OK…but you can’t lead without illustrating your concern and values. When you have a Direct who doesn’t see value in your direction/ethos, confront them constructively and find out why he/she disagrees.

Not Coaching the Right People

While a rising tide raises all ships, spending too much time on those that are sinking slows down the progress of others. Limit your development time with “C” Players. Rather, focus your time with “B” Players who can become “A’s.”

Allowing Bad Behaviors to Continue

Coaching can be done over time with willing participants. But, if a behavior exists that is truly detrimental to the team, it has to stop immediately.  Tell the Direct that his/her specific behavior is unacceptable and needs to stop now. After that, put a coaching plan together that has them move beyond this behavior.

No Follow-Up

Just as in consulting, a successful leader needs to be persistent, yet likable, to coach, lead and develop. Hold your teams accountable for what they said they would do and by when they said they would do it. People who fear this call it “micro-managing,” but I call it establishing standards.

Detaching From Directs

Never orphan a Direct. The more you collaborate with a Direct the quicker they develop.

Allowing Your Team’s Issues To Affect You

Keep your perspective. Notice certain trends and patterns in your leadership efforts. Hold to the objective evidence in front of you versus any loud voice you hear.

See if being aware of these common leadership mistakes helps you develop your skills, and those of your team. Let me know how it goes.

 

 

Avoiding Smart Guy Syndrome

Cartoon of a man yelling into a mic with text "I'm A Smart Guy"Throughout my years coaching executives, I’ve noticed a common behavior that decredentials leaders: the need to illustrate they are the smartest person in the room. Trust me, the moment you start doing that, you’ve lost:

  • the climate to foster meaningful, honest dialogue
  • the possibility of debate that’s essential to gaining insight and coming to the BEST decision, not you’re decision
  • the freedom to discover a solution with others
  • your direct reports’ trust in you as someone who cares about them and their input

That’s a lot to give up, right?

Four Behaviors to Avoid the “Smart Guy” Syndrome

Being aware of your need to establish yourself as the “smart guy” and knowing what you’re giving up as described above is just the beginning. From there, try these four behaviors that will help you avoid losing the confidence and trust of those in the room:

Never Rush-to-Judgement

Immediately judging input and the person giving it as “good” or “bad,” “worthy” or “not worthy” will create tension in the room. The moment you do this you shut the space of discovery down. You’re actually saying, I don’t need your input, I’ve got this. You will no longer get honest input, rather you will get what they think you want to hear.

Tell the Truth

If you’re afraid to tell the truth, you can’t lead. Of course there are issues you should not discuss or open up about, you’ve got to be responsible for all the issues. Most issues are better communicated with honesty than with fabrication. And being able to admit you don’t have all the answers will engender loyalty far more than creating solutions out of thin air.

Over-Listen

I can’t stress this enough. The leader who listens is the leader who is respected. Let conversations remain ambiguous for a while and notice who participates in the solution of the issue, beyond you; that’s a future leader.

Offer honest consistent feedback

The clearer your observations are of people the more they will desire your coaching of them. They will feel your concern for their development, rather than your isolated positions. People want feedback so they can improve how they operate. Not giving them feedback says either you didn’t listen, didn’t care or don’t have the respect for their input. That’s not going to win you many fans, is it?

Try these four behaviors at your next meeting. Let me know how it goes with a “Reply” below so we can all learn from your experience!  – SG

To Be a Great Leader…Teach, Don’t Tell or Do

Many of my clients are quick-learning, driven executives. Often, though, I stress the importance of teaching directs how to accomplish a task/project versus telling them how to accomplish it or worse, doing it for them. Read more

Leadership Development Case Study: Arsenal Capital

Steve Giglio accelerates and anchors change in an organizationThe person who said “change doesn’t happen overnight” had not met Steve Giglio. Steve accelerates the change you want by quickly influencing the behaviors of your executives. Then he anchors the longevity of that change by remaining engaged with the executive, tracking progress and providing direct counseling during challenges.

Case Study

Arsenal Capital Defines Company Messaging Through Executive Training

The Situation:

“We needed an outsider to hear how we communicated our company’s core values and help us streamline our brand to be powerfully effective,” says Terry Mullen of Arsenal Capital.

Steve immediately noticed Arsenal’s message was too complex. It needed to be distilled down to the point where it could be easily understood, and it needed to be flexible enough to address diverse audiences. Steve rigorously studied Arsenal’s industry, finding areas where the company’s messaging and the market needs were at odds. He then worked with four top-level executives, tailoring programs to fit the company’s messaging needs and the skill sets of each individual.

The result:

Arsenal Capital now has consistent and concise messaging that can be tailored to any audience. Steve Giglio was able to pinpoint the company’s value proposition and the unique services offered. He created a communication standard that ensures an accurate presentation of the company to investors. The changes he initiated are now used for all communications efforts.

ALSO SEE:
Return on Executive Investment
Superior Team Management
Increased confidence and peace of mind

Arsenal Capital ED Case Study

Steve Giglio accelerates and anchors change in an organization

Case Study

Arsenal Capital Defines Company Messaging Through Executive Training

The Situation:

“We needed an outsider to hear how we communicated our company’s core values and help us streamline our brand to be powerfully effective,” says Terry Mullen of Arsenal Capital.

Steve immediately noticed Arsenal’s message was too complex. It needed to be distilled down to the point where it could be easily understood, and it needed to be flexible enough to address diverse audiences. Steve rigorously studied Arsenal’s industry, finding areas where the company’s messaging and the market needs were at odds. He then worked with four top-level executives, tailoring programs to fit the company’s messaging needs and the skill sets of each individual.

The result:

Arsenal Capital now has consistent and concise messaging that can be tailored to any audience. Steve Giglio was able to pinpoint the company’s value proposition and the unique services offered. He created a communication standard that ensures an accurate presentation of the company to investors. The changes he initiated are now used for all communications efforts.

ALSO SEE:
Return on Executive Investment
Superior Team Management
Increased confidence and peace of mind

Steve Giglio Delivers a Fast Return on Your Leadership Development Investment

Steve Giglio's executive development sessions provide immediate resultsSteve Giglio knows that you don’t have six months to determine if his leadership development programs deliver results.  His programs are designed to have an immediate effect. Your executives will leave their first development session with new management skills and tools that they can use at once. Through research, peer interviews, extensive sessions with the individual and his unique insight, Steve quickly pinpoints areas of developmental need and tailors a program to address them. Executives are able to implement the strategies developed and their teams take notice.

Case Study

Steve Giglio Works One-on-one with LexisNexis Executives, Improving Confidence and Leadership

Steve Giglio delivers results through executive developmentThe situation:

LexisNexis CFO Carolyn Ullerick needed a team that exhibited strong leadership, independence and assertiveness. “Overall, I had a capable team. But I needed them to grow to the next level. I knew it could take some time before they would get there, I just didn’t know if they could get there on their own.”

Steve spent several weeks interviewing Ullerick’s team, conducting one-on-one sessions, and videotaping the individuals in different scenarios to determine weak points. He then created individual leadership development plans that would create a shift in how her senior leaders conducted themselves and managed others.

The result:

“Steve has become a true partner to me,” Ullerick says. “He has closed the leadership gaps with each of the executives he has worked with. Steve’s ability to guide people towards self-awareness and then provide them with tools for change has lead to a demonstrable increase in each individual’s ability, enabling me to get the most out of each of them.

Steve’s work has resulted in members of my team being promoted, sought after for new and exciting key roles, and regarded as true high potential employees. They have become the trusted advisors that their current roles demand.  Steve has been equally successful with individuals just starting out as well as seasoned executives. Maybe the best testament to his effectiveness is that individuals who I sponsored to work with Steve in the past are now using him with their own teams!”

ALSO SEE:
Accelerated and Anchored Change
Superior Team Management
Increased confidence and peace of mind

Lexis Nexis Sales Training Case Study

Case Study

Steve Giglio Works One-on-one with LexisNexis Executives, Improving Confidence and Leadership

Steve Giglio delivers results through executive developmentThe situation:

LexisNexis CFO Carolyn Ullerick needed a team that exhibited strong leadership, independence and assertiveness. “Overall, I had a capable team. But I needed them to grow to the next level. I knew it could take some time before they would get there, I just didn’t know if they could get there on their own.”

Steve spent several weeks interviewing Ullerick’s team, conducting one-on-one sessions, and videotaping the individuals in different scenarios to determine weak points. He then created individual executive development plans that would create a shift in how her senior leaders conducted themselves and managed others.

The result:

“Steve has become a true partner to me,” Ullerick says. “He has closed the leadership gaps with each of the executives he has worked with. Steve’s ability to guide people towards self-awareness and then provide them with tools for change has lead to a demonstrable increase in each individual’s ability, enabling me to get the most out of each of them.

Steve’s work has resulted in members of my team being promoted, sought after for new and exciting key roles, and regarded as true high potential employees. They have become the trusted advisors that their current roles demand.  Steve has been equally successful with individuals just starting out as well as seasoned executives. Maybe the best testament to his effectiveness is that individuals who I sponsored to work with Steve in the past are now using him with their own teams!”

ALSO SEE:
Accelerated and Anchored Change
Superior Team Management
Increased confidence and peace of mind

Steve Giglio, leadership development and sales training professional

Leadership Development and Sales Training: Focusing Your Brand

Steve Giglio has learned that brands get blurry at the point where individuals communicate it.  Many times that starts at the top with a company’s leadership. Using his keen insight, well-researched industry knowledge and professional communication skills, Steve has created leadership development and sales training programs that have helped Fortune 100 companies focus their brands.   Click below to learn how Steve has utlized his knowledge-base and training in two critical business areas:

Leadership Development

Using insight, business acumen and personality, Steve Giglio tailors executive and leadership development programs that gain the trust of even the most seasoned executive. He quickly initiates real, measurable change that give executives more confidence, implementable techniques and effective management systems.

Sales Training

Steve Giglio has provided results-driven sales training programs to the world’s most recognizable brands. Under his direction, sales teams learn consistency of message, the value of systematizing the sales process and the importance of bottom-line pressure points.

Leadership Development Programs with Steve Giglio

Steve Giglio provides one-on-one executive trainingSteve Giglio’s leadership development programs achieve immediate and long-lasting results. He tailors each individual leadership development program to meet the needs of the company and the skill set of the individual. These programs generate an immediate shift, creating real opportunities for improved leadership and productivity. Click the on the four key results on the left to learn how they can immediately impact on your executives, company and bottom line.

ALSO SEE:
Return on Leadership Investment
Accelerated and Anchored Change
Superior Team Management
Increased confidence and peace of mind