The majority of people are not natural leaders. In fact, studies have shown that only about 10% of people are born to be leaders.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a good leader if you aren’t one naturally. You can develop certain leadership qualities over time and essentially teach yourself to be a great leader in the process.
You should kick things off by asking yourself, “Why is it important to be a leader?” You should have a good understanding of the answer to this question.
Then, you should set out to strengthen your leadership skills. Leaders need to be great communicators, excellent when it comes to motivating and inspiring others, and able to delegate tasks to the right people.
Leaders also need to avoid making some crucial mistakes that could hurt their ability to lead others. Continue reading to find out more about the importance of leadership as well as three of the biggest mistakes that leaders make.
First, Why Is It Important to Be a Leader?
Before we discuss some of the biggest mistakes that leaders make, it’s important for us to talk about the importance of leadership. As we mentioned earlier, people should ask the question, “Why is it important to be a leader?”, prior to assuming a role as a leader.
It’s essential for all groups of people—both at work and in other areas of life—to have a leader who guides them. The leader is in charge of setting the tone for the group and clearly identifying any goals that the group is trying to reach.
If a group of people doesn’t have a leader, they might all be working towards a goal. But that goal might mean something different to everyone. It’ll make it awfully hard for the group to move as one collective unit in pursuit of a common goal.
Your job as a leader will be to get everyone on the same page from the start and to keep them there over the long run. If you don’t demonstrate good leadership, it could hurt the team and make it difficult for them to reach the goals they need to be reaching.
Those who don’t demonstrate good leadership often make these three mistakes…
1. Trying Way Too Hard to Lead
When a natural-born leader steps into a position of power, they don’t have to try to lead those beneath them. They automatically do it without giving much thought to the process.
But when those who aren’t born leaders assume a position of power, they sometimes try way too hard to show they’re in charge. They try to play a role in every single thing that a group does to show that they’re the leader of the operation.
While it’s good for a leader to get down into the trenches every so often and work side-by-side with the people they’re leading, they also need to trust their team to follow their commands and do what needs to be done. If they don’t, they could end up micromanaging things and turning others off.
Don’t be afraid to fall back and trust the people you’re leading to do their jobs. You’ll be surprised by how much more effectively they work when you give them space.
2. Failing to Provide Clear Expectations to Others
While it’s a good idea for those who are trying to lead others to give them their own set of responsibilities, you shouldn’t do it without creating clear expectations for them. Otherwise, it’s going to be hard for both you and them to judge the final results later.
When you delegate a task to someone, you shouldn’t tell them how to do that task unless it requires an explanation. But you should tell them what you’re expecting to be done when the task is complete.
How that person gets from point A to point B is up to them. What’s important is that you show good leadership and tell them what point B is so that they don’t go from point A to point C instead.
3. Using a Single Strategy in an Attempt to Motivate Everyone
There are some leaders who lead by raising their voice and yelling at other people in order to get what they want. There are others who set up a reward system to try and entice people to hit the goals that they establish.
Both of these motivational tactics will be effective for certain people. But there are also people who won’t respond well to, say, getting yelled at all the time.
As a leader, your goal should be to figure out which strategies would work when you’re trying to motivate each person that is looking to you for leadership. That might mean lecturing one person in your office about a mistake they made so that it doesn’t happen again and creating the aforementioned reward system for another person who struggles to be productive each day.
It might also mean sending a letter of thanks to someone who has gone above and beyond to make your job as a leader so much easier. Read on here to find out how to get this letter into their hands as soon as possible.
Stop Asking, “Why Is It Important to Be a Leader?” and Start Leading Better
You’ve probably heard the saying, “With great power comes great responsibility,” over and over again throughout the course of your life. And that’s because it’s 100% true.
Being the leader of a group of people, whether at work or otherwise, is a great feeling. It lets you know that there are people who trust your judgment and your ability to lead.
But serving as a leader can also be a nerve-racking experience. It’s not always easy to get a group of people to follow you and do as you say.
It’ll have you second-guessing your decision to become a leader and asking, “Why is it important to be a leader?” Rather than giving up your position of power, avoid making the mistakes mentioned here and commit to working hard to be the best leader you can be.
Check out our blog for more great articles on leadership and the value of being a good leader.