You already know it by experience: as a manager or leader in your organization you have to wear many hats, and you have to use, and alternate, them in the most effective way to achieve the results you are after.
It’s in this art of ‘using and alternating’ the different leadership hats that resides the biggest part of our success.
And this is not always easy or evident. Because our personal biases, experienced background, knowledge, and personalities get in the way of that effective use of our leadership hats.
That lack of awareness makes brilliant, smart individuals make huge mistakes when it comes to effectively leading and achieving results.
These are the three biggest mistakes I have seen managers make, that were on their way to success for many of them:
1. They focus almost EXCLUSIVELY on achieving short-term results.
Results are the blood of any organization. Without results (financial, social, business…) organizations cannot survive in the long run. Leaders and Managers know this very well, and it occupies most of their daily time: making sure the organization, team, or department achieves the daily, weekly, and quarterly objectives.
Not meeting them regularly may bring stress, undesired decisions, and further consequences. Not a very appealing scenario.
Consequently, most managers put all their attention and actions into meeting the short-term results, regardless of the price paid. In many situations, that price is so high that it undermines the future sustainable results they need, falling into an unsustainable negative downside spiral.
Results are key, but beware of how much 'meeting the very short-term results' AT ANY COST will condition your medium and long-term success.
2. They do not ALWAYS take decisions with the Customer in mind.
The ‘Customer first’ motto hangs on many walls in our organizations today. And, as with many other messages proudly displayed for employees to see every day, they are not followed and practiced in those companies.
Most Managers and Leaders pay only lip service to that concept and try to get more than what they give to their Customers. The Customer becomes the ‘necessary but uncomfortable guest’ that have to be satisfied, at least at the very minimum for them to continue buying from us.
How few Managers and Leaders really 'put the Customer first', looking for real partnerships, win-win situations, helping and advising their Customers to make wiser decisions about the future.
When that Outstanding Customer Service and Culture of Excellence transpire from leaders to the whole organization, without focusing on short-term nickel-and-diming, sustainable success comes naturally and easily.
3. They COMPROMISE their personal development and well-being.
When focused almost exclusively on external achievements, like financial goals, being the #1 in the market, winning Customer recognition, building a bigger and better team, and growing their organizations, many Managers and Leaders forget about themselves.
They do not spend time and energy sharpening their skills and abilities, and they do not focus on maintaining a healthy work-life balance for the benefit of body and mind.
Our body and mind are the most critical tools we can count on to support our continuous growth and success. But many, they take them for granted and pay them little attention. They think that they will continue performing at a high level forever.
Then comes depression, medical issues, a decline in learning abilities, loss of thinking agility…
Looking at how much time in our busy schedules we devote to maintaining our body and mind in perfect conditions is a sign of how likely we will succeed in the medium and long term.
How are you doing with these three common BIG mistakes?