Leadership is not an easy feat. With so many people looking to you for guidance, so much can go wrong. Sometimes, you may completely overlook the possibility of you having leadership weaknesses. As these weaknesses fester, they can make the workplace less likable to your team members and eventually you.
Employees don’t like working for a bad boss. So, you must become a good leader who can provide proper guidance for the team. For that, you need to understand where you fall short.
11 Common Weaknesses of Leadership
So, here are 11 common weaknesses of leadership you may have and why you should avoid them at all costs.
Either you subconsciously want to show authority or fear the loss of control, micromanaging is a trait that can demotivate your employees and make them anxious at the workplace.
Micromanagers are taskmasters that require constant status updates on ongoing tasks although the task may not even be urgent.
When you’re constantly nagging, it affects the creativity of an employee and appears overly controlling. Micromanaging also means that you distrust your employees and refuse to acknowledge their ability to complete tasks adequately.
If you’ve made it a habit to demand daily email updates, being cc’d in every email, and so on, step back. You need to give your employees more freedom to do their tasks efficiently.
After all, you hired them because you trusted in their skills. Give them space to fully incorporate their skills in the workplace.
2. Not Setting Clear Goals and Expectations
We all like having an end goal or an aim for the things we do. As a leader, you have to be careful to set clear goals and expectations in the workplace so your employees know where you’re going.
If you find yourself keeping the company goals to yourself and not giving insight to employees on what the company is working on, the employees will find no pleasure from working 9 to 5.
They’d be turning in tasks and reaching short-term goals aimlessly. A leader is responsible for motivating team members. If you give them a clear goal, like increasing sales by 5%, they’ll be inspired and motivated.
However, make sure that you’re setting realistic goals for your employees. Don’t try to overwork valuable employees to achieve unrealistic goals.
3. Ineffective Feedback
Effective feedback is an important part of employee motivation. If an employee worked their hardest and had outstanding results, you should tell them that without holding back. As a leader, your praises will encourage them to keep doing their best.
If another employee’s work was undesirable, you should provide criticism constructively. You should point out where they made a mistake and advise them what to do to correct it. Don’t use harsh words or provide incomplete criticisms that confuse employees.
4. Taking Credit for The Successes of Your Team Members
It’s very important to give proper credit when your team becomes successful. If you’re being praised for an idea of a team member, step up and give the credit where it’s due. If you do that, you’ll be both respected and trusted by your team members.
5. Lack of Flexibility
I’m sure you’ve been doing things a certain way all your life. Most of us don’t like changing routines and being open to new things. But, as a leader, you must change this habit.
You will constantly find your employees coming up with new ideas and methods to do things differently. Always be open to their logic and if you find their methods more effective than yours, be flexible enough to switch to their methods.
Being flexible can help your employees feel more at ease in the workplace. If you listen to employee opinions and ideas, they’ll feel respected and regarded by you.
And, if you’re open to change, that means there’s so much room for growth within your team. Try to be open-minded to be a successful leader.
6. Lack of Integrity
Integrity is a personal strength as well as a leadership strength. In short, integrity means that you do as you say.
If you make empty promises to your employees, you lack integrity. If the employee is not going to get a promotion, don’t tell them that they will after they hit a specific target.
The employee will feel dejected, defeated, and will lose trust in you as a leader. Don’t make promises before asking your superiors about it first.
You’re putting everything at stake when you make false promises.Integrity also means that you follow your own advice. You are the role model of your team.
If you’re not being responsible or hard-working, your employees won’t feel the need to work hard. You should always guide them by your example.
7. Not Being Accountable
Sometimes if your employees make a mistake, you may not provide the right information or support to get the job done right.
Not being able to admit and blame it is a negative feature and which the manager may not have. As hard as it is to swallow our pride, we must stand up and admit guilt; However, no one is perfect.
8. Separating/Distancing Yourself from the Rest of the Team
Good leaders don’t act as if they’re superior to their employees. If you consider the leadership strengths of popular leaders like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi, you’ll find a common characteristic. They always worked together with their teams to achieve goals.
So, when you work as a leader, be sure that you’re not distancing yourself from the team. If you distance yourself, you’ll be perceived as an arrogant leader.
When you work together with your team, it’s easy to feel like you’re a peer rather than a superior. When your employees feel comfortable around you, they’ll be open about their opinions, ideas and will feel confident presenting them to you.
So, to build trust and mutual respect, make sure that you’re working along with your team members.
9. Lack of Empathy
Empathy is among the list of effective leadership skills every leader should have. It means that you have the ability to understand and share other’s feelings.
You need to listen to and understand your team members’ problems. That way, you can assist them to solve their problems for a better work environment.
If your team doesn’t reach out to you for finding solutions, you’re not doing a great job at being empathetic.
Hold meetings or if you have a small team, talk one on one with members and ask them to let you know if they are facing issues at the workplace.
This way, you’re making sure that you earn respect in the workplace and that your employees trust you to provide solutions.
10. Needing to be Liked by Others
This is a common leadership mistake made by every leader. It is natural to assume that leaders make popular decisions that are well-liked by every team member.
While it’s important to consider the opinions of other team members, sometimes you may have to make decisions that are unpopular and less liked.
So, when you take decisions, always consider your judgment and experience as well. Rather than making a decision that will please others, make the best decision for your team.
Are you doing this rookie mistake? Then try your best to avoid it. But, always make sure that your team understands the reason why you made that decision. Your team will respect the fact that you explained yourself.
11. Lack of Other Skills or Knowledge
Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you can slow down learning. You should always be aware of new technologies and methods that you can implement in the workplace.
If you slack, your employees will not recognize you as a leader knowledgeable enough to lead the team.
If you lack some specific skills like analytical or strategic skills, you should hire an employee who can do it for you. This way, you’re not risking your lack of skills affecting the efficiency of your team.
To be a good leader for your team, you need to understand your leadership weaknesses. Focusing on your leadership weaknesses is not going to have a negative impact on your confidence as a leader.
Rather, it will help you uncover the areas that need improvement. If you are having doubts about what your weaknesses are, consult with your peers and team members. They will be happy to help you develop as a leader.
If you improve these weaknesses, with time, these leadership weaknesses will become your greatest strengths. A great leader can make a huge difference in the workplace.
They will inspire, motivate, and drive employees towards success. So, keep learning and improving and hopefully, you’ll become a leader loved and respected by all your team members.