The Point: 2020 will be here before we know it, and I see some disturbing Leadership-trends taking place (Please see my PS and PPSS below for a special offer!) Leadership is tough business when reviewed for results. With a microscopic fine-focus every leader’s actions can be analyzed. We started thinking here at The Javelin Institute, exactly how will a leader in 2020 navigate this management minefield successfully? Our research revealed one mistake (i.e., the “Biggest Mistake”) that trips leaders-up more than others. So, in this post, we’ll examine the biggest mistake a leader can make in 2020, as well as nine (9) others they should avoid in managing for results in 2020… Enjoy!
I’m a Good Leader (Not Better, and Certainly Not the BEST!)
Brian is a senior leader at a client organization* that oversaw a staff of ten (10). He’s been with the organization for the past decade, and in his leadership position for the last six (6) years. Brian likes the company, the role he plays within it, and even the people on his team. However, Brian’s career trajectory is in jeopardy. A recent 360-degree assessment, whereby his stakeholders (superiors, peers, and subordinates) gave his leadership prowess rather damming results. It turns out that for Brian, being a “Good” leader isn’t “Good” enough for his stakeholders.
I’m a Leader that Makes Mistakes
Brian will be the first to admit it… He’s capable of making mistakes as a leader. While perfection might be a goal, mistakes are part of the managerial landscape. I believe that leaders that make mistakes, identify those mistakes, and course correct are truly leading their organizations better than those that “play it safe” and never make mistakes. Also, part of the leadership landscape is to learn from those mistakes to better yourself, your team, and your organization.
9 Mistakes to Avoid as a Leader in Managing for Results
I recently completed research looking to answer the question “As a leader, what are the mistakes that you typically make?” The answers might surprise you (as might the solutions – but I’ll save that for another post!) Here then are 9 mistakes to avoid as a leader:
#10 – Feedback (As in too little, not too much)
#9 – Lack of Role Clarity
#8 – Delegating (As in too much, not too little)
#7 – Full of Hot Air (Talking the talk, but not…)
#6 – Unable to Motivate
#5 – Unclear Directions
#4 – Friend (“Do it for me because I’m your…”)
#3 – Bossy (“Do it for me because I’m your…”)
#2 – Unapproachable
The Biggest Mistake a Leader Can Make in 2020
While the 9 mistakes to avoid as a leader is good information to have, there is one answer that was more typically cited than all of them. A mistake that most leaders surveyed indicated would be THE mistake that if left unchecked, would be career trajectory limiting. This mistake that you cannot afford to make in 2020. What’s the biggest mistake a leader can make in 2020?
#1 – Accountability
It turns out that accountability is the biggest mistake a leader can make in 2020. We questioned the leaders surveyed to find out why this is the biggest mistake a leader can make in 2020. Time and again leaders indicated that if you analyze a leader and their day, they can’t get it all done in and of themselves. Therefore, they have to delegate (We saw “Delegation” above in the “9 Mistakes to Avoid as a Leader”).
So, the biggest mistake a leader can make in 2020 turns out to be none other than accountability. This is something that we saw time and again in following-up with those that participated in leadership development training or executive education training. Holding stakeholders accountable (Yes, stakeholders – subordinates, peers, as well as superiors) is difficult, but is it really? My discussions have lead me to believe that it’s actually anticipated by your stakeholders, especially when a proper action plan is established. Therefore, avoid the biggest mistake a leader can make (Now or in 2020) and start holding your stakeholders accountable!
PS – 2020 will be here before we know it, and I see some disturbing Leadership-trends taking place. If you’d like to receive a white paper I wrote on “5 Ways Your Leadership Will Fail in 2020” CLICK HERE.
PPSS – As we hit the halfway point of 2019, I’m about to launch my most aggressive initiative to date. It’s a 501(c)(3) that provides Executive Education and Coaching to allow you to become the BEST leader possible (NOT Good, NOT Better… but BEST!). Set to launch in July 2019, I’m allowing 20 people in my network to “test-drive” the offering. If you’d like more information, contact me at email@example.com.
* Name changed to protect identity