Leadership Mistakes: Sound Familiar?

by Leo Pound on March 20, 2013

leadership-mistakesBeing the boss has its perks, but success often comes at a price. Today’s managers are under constant pressure to do more with less. Stress and pressure can interfere with judgment and may lead to poor decisions that result in long-term damage.

As consultants, we’re often called in to help business owners navigate change and rectify troubled situations. Over the years we’ve noticed some common managerial mistakes made by leaders and entrepreneurs from a range of industries. We thought we would share ten common mistakes we’ve seen time and time again.

  1. No Business Plan: You need a solid business plan to raise capital, define your objectives, goals and strategy. A study by Babson College found that companies with a solid business plan were likely to raise twice as much capital as their counterparts without a business plan.
  2. Being Too Insular: Savvy managers know when to hire outside experts and resources. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses, and know when to call in an expert.
  3. Micromanaging: Hire the right people, establish expectations and offer insight. Let your employees own their jobs and their accomplishments.
  4. Not Enough Direction: On the flip side of the equation, too many managers hire good employees without providing any direction or defining expectations. There’s a fine line between micromanaging and being invisible.
  5. Giving Credit Where It’s Due: Maintain morale and employee performance (even in tough economic times) by thanking employees for a job well done. A little praise goes a long way.
  6. Trying To Be Friends With Your Employees: Your employees don’t need a best friend; they need an inspiring leader who can make tough decisions and chart a course for growth. You can still socialize with employees, but set clear boundaries. You need to be viewed as their leader.
  7. Depending On One or Two Customers For Cash Flow: Being overly dependent on a few clients or customers is a disaster waiting to happen. You need to continually develop new leads and keep your prospect pipeline full. Never rest on your laurels. Network. Network. Network.
  8. Poor Customer Service: Exceptional customer service is the backbone of every successful business. Always strive to provide the best customer service. Ensure proper and frequent training, develop a standard practice for most situations and keep an open line of communication with every department. Have you ever asked employees what they think? How can their department be improved?
  9. Underinsured: Make sure your business is properly covered for when emergencies strike. This is not a one-time deal. Policies should be regularly reviewed and amended as needed.
  10. Bad Books: Make sure you keep accurate records and files of all your financial dealings. Who is checking? Do you have regular audits by an independent firm?
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Leo Pound

As Pound Consulting Inc.’s founder and principal, Leo Pound is responsible for day-to-day operations, as well as building partnerships, maintaining relationships and providing value to all clients. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Leo has spent most of his career helping companies around the world.  He has worked with many multi-national companies – including ones based or operating in China, Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Japan and more. He has in- depth knowledge of operational and strategic planning, M&A, forecasting and budgeting and cost containment. Leo is a hands-on professional who is sensitive to the pressures and challenges facing a troubled or rapidly growing company and their management team.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy Van Flatern March 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Consider these 10 Business Commandments!

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Sonja Pound March 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for sharing and commenting Tracy.

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