5 Leadership Mistakes I Made In The Last 5 Years

On March 10, 2014

5 Leadership Mistakes I Made In The Last 5 Years

People tell me all the time that they wouldn’t change anything about their past because it all makes up who they are.  While I understand that & agree with the statement on many levels,  I would not say that same thing personally.

Why?

While I do believe everything I have done makes up who I am, it doesn’t replace the fact that I would change some things if I could do it again.  If I had a redo, I would change these 5 things…

1. Be More Clear & Less Critical

When it comes to leading staff, I’ve found that giving people clear direction is one of the most important things I should do.  Job descriptions don’t cut it.

You have to be ruthlessly clear about the OUTCOMES you want people to produce.  If you don’t do this, you end up being aggressive or passive aggressive toward your team.

Overtime, I would become critical about the outcomes & it would make some of the people I work with feel like they don’t measure up.  I didn’t intend for it to feel that way but it did.  Being clear is more painful relationally on the front end but makes life a whole lot better on the back end.

I’m working hard to be CLEAR on the front end, instead of critical on the backend.

2. Be More Present & Less Distracted

I don’t know if I have A.D.D but most of my close friends & family say I do.  We wear this as a badge of honor in our culture sometimes but it’s not good.  If I had a do over, I would put the phone down when someone is talking to me.  I would just enjoy the conversation I’m currently in, instead of thinking about the next one.

I am working on BEING wherever I am.

3. Be More Ears & Less Mouth

I talk too freaking much.  I hate it.  If I had to do it over again, I would listen to people 5X more than I talk.  I am a verbal processor but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t shut my mouth & listen deeply to others.  I believe this stems from a lack of patience & self control.

I am working on asking more questions & giving less opinions.

4. Be More Content & Less Driven

I didn’t realize how awesome it was to be working in a FAST FAST FAST growth organization because it wasn’t easy.  If I had to do it over again, I would have stopped way more often & just enjoyed what was happening.  I wasn’t miserable at all but I didn’t fully enjoy the ride.  I believe as humans we all want what’s next & forget to be grateful for everything we already have.

I am working on being grateful for all the up’s & down’s because it means I’m alive!

5. Be More Risky & Less Cautious 

As we became a little bit more successful, I got less risky.  It’s funny because people think I’m a risky person but who isn’t when you have nothing to lose.  But as the stakes get bigger, I started getting scared to try new things.  I wouldn’t go back and bet the farm on everything but I would have taken more calculated risks.

Another thing I would do is continue to learn from people outside my comfort zone.  Now that I’m back in a start up, I forgot how much you learn & grow when you are HUNGRY!

I have made WAYYYYYYYY more than 5 mistakes but maybe you can learn from these five & not do the same things I did.

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