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Published date: April 19, 2017
Last modified: April 25, 2017

The 4 ‘NO’s’ of leadership


Four eye-openers emerge regularly from our development workshops and leadership programmes. Can you relate to any of these leadership no-no’s?

1. Indecisiveness

Taking a stand and making a decision is not always easy. It can sometimes make a leader feel uncomfortable if they know the decision may not be well received by everyone on the team. Deciding to go in a particular direction can even feel risky, and some leaders have difficulty with that balance as well.

To overcome indecisiveness:

  • Be clear on your solution and be able to share your reasons
  • Communicate your decision in an open and direct way
  • Make time for questions and concerns
  • Respect different points of view by actively listening
  • Be enthusiastic about your choice and let the team know you appreciate their support and hard work

2. Procrastination

The problem with procrastination is that leaders are still left with the original concern and when ignored, situations can escalate. Even worse, when we don’t seize the chance to take action, it can result in a tremendous missed opportunity. When we procrastinate we aren’t leading our team forward.

To overcome procrastination:

  • Stick with your deadlines unless something big forces you to re-evaluate
  • Ask others for help and empower them to take charge using their areas of expertise
  • Commit to being action oriented by setting clear SMART goals

3. Low trust

Trust is the foundation of any relationship and without it we can’t be an influential leader. If the people we work with can’t depend on us to be honest and transparent, we will be standing alone. I see many workplaces where rumors circulate and employees don’t feel valued. When there is a climate of untrustworthiness there is higher turnover, less collaboration and disengaged people. An organization or team that has a lack of trust has a lack of future leadership.

To overcome low trust:

  • Show an interest and concern for the people you see each day
  • Be vulnerable yourself by sharing some of your missteps and lessons learned
  • Follow through on what you say you are going to do
  • Be a coach or a mentor and demonstrate your belief in other’s strengths and abilities

4. Control freak

Letting go is not easy, especially when you feel that your reputation is on the line. But here’s the thing. Even if you think no one can do it as well as you can, you can’t own everything. And if you try to control it all, something will eventually fall through the cracks. Additionally, team members will not grow and become the future leaders they are meant to be if they are not held accountable.

To overcome being a control freak:

  • Develop a trust level for your team members by working with them and learning about their strengths and gifts
  • Empower others to try new things and stretch their skill set
  • Honor others by giving them meaningful and high level work
  • Feel how good it is to see new leaders grow.

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