There are thousands of articles on leadership online. Most of them analyze the virtues of a leader and the characteristics they need to embrace and empower their team. The vast majority of the content has wonderful descriptions of heroes, saints, and supernatural beings.
Leading is more than instructing
Anyone with a certain degree of authority can instruct without having special skills. Leading is a whole different world. It does not only require doing things, but knowing how to do them correctly. Leading is giving orders to people who very often do not believe in them and assuring they are clear and obeyed. Does that sound familiar?
The bad news is that a leader is not always a good person. If a person is bad, he/she will likely be a bad leader. A leader does not guarantee the group’s success. In fact, history is full of leaders who have led their followers to disaster.
The fact that the team does not complain does not mean that they are happy.
It is well known that in the absence of a good leader, performance decreases by those who are supposed to be self-directed. The chances of success or optimizing results plummet.
Modern psychologists at ifeel favor strengthening leadership skills and celebrating good virtues. However, we are also aware of human limitations and seek to understand them. We know that doing the right things can be hard, but let’s start by clarifying what we shouldn’t do.
Whether you are the captain of a sports team, the director of a play or a film director, you can become an excellent leader for the team you are in charge of by promoting certain behaviors or attitudes. Today, we will focus on explaining what you shouldn’t do if you aspire to lead a team.
Some aspiring leaders are naive because they are inexperienced, lack the capacity to deepen social interactions, or irresponsible. Naivety means lacking judgment and experience and being gullible. This flaw is often associated with errors and can lead to major problems. Naivety is confusing appearances with reality and believing what the eyes see or the brain interprets as reality. This occurs when you are only connected with yourself, but you are disengaged from the outer world and your team.
Sometimes you might think peers are having a great time because they smile, seem to get along well, and don’t complain about things. However, deep inside they might not be that happy. The fact that people nod yes does not mean they agree.
2. Not leading by example
We know that every leader must be an inspiring model for the team, but you can’t be a good role model if you don’t lead by example. You cannot ask your subordinates to value punctuality if you are always late, to dress well if you look like a mess, or to treat merchandise delicately if you handle it carelessly. Remember, if a leader is equal to a model then you have to set the example, otherwise you’ll end up inspiring bad habits.
A good leader is not the one who knows everything but the one who knows how to get the most out of all the people involved. Some of the greatest virtues that a human being can have is admitting not know something, identifying who does know and asking for help. It is wise not to only listen but to also follow their advice. Leading is not knowing everything. Leading is leveraging the brightest ideas from members the team.
A leader does not have to be an expert in his field, rather proficient in surrounding himself with experts in his product and getting them to collaborate by contributing their wisdom. Do not be arrogant and miss out on the talent of others. Experts are everywhere. Listen to them, and everyone will progress faster.
Sometimes our parents teach us that white lies are a very handy tool for life. They have saved us in many situations from suffering and discomfort. Lying shamelessly, systematically and without necessity are qualities of a bad leader.
Our optimistic predictions about the future are intuitions that too often are based on 1% of data and 99% of our romantic desire for situations to go well. The truth eventually makes its way to the surface, regardless of unfulfilled promises and overestimated predictions. No good leader becomes a leader by lying to its members indefinitely. Remember that a good leader does not have the arrogance to waste the talent of others. A good leader leverages the intelligence of others.
5. Leading is not quoting
Leading by repeating phrases about leadership can often lead to failure. Most people can tell when you’re quoting a slogan that you recently read on the airplane magazine when you are trying to inspire/motivate authentically. It is better to contain enthusiasm than to talk to people about fantasies that they don’t believe in.
Try to use valuable motivational phrases related to work. Stay away from cheesy phrases like: “The best thing about this company is people”.
If you follow these five rules you will undoubtedly be on the right path to becoming an authentic leader, focusing on honesty and not distorted ideas. Professional help can help empower qualities and identify defects. If you feel up for it, we have psychologists available to help you.