By James Nagy

As leaders, we are always searching for ways to be more effective, more productive and more successful. What if some of our own errors and habits were holding us back from these goals that we continuously strive so hard for? There are a few common errors that leaders make. It’s important to identify these errors and learn how to stop repeating them in the future.

Error #1: Not Providing Proper Feedback to Employees

This is a huge error that leaders commonly make. Your team needs both positive and negative feedback – delivered in the correct way. When you fail to give proper feedback to your employees, you are failing to give them the opportunity to improve their performance. No feedback means no improvement and no credit for the good work that is being done.

Error #2: Thinking That Your Opinion is the Best Opinion

Just because you’re in the leadership role does not mean that you shouldn’t be weighing in the thoughts and opinions of those around you. The perspectives that you surround yourself with will shape and strengthen your leadership role. Likewise, if you choose not to listen to the creative approaches around you, you are closing yourself off to any outside perspective that could have helped your growth and success. Be open to what you can learn and how you can grow instead of being certain that your answer is always the best answer.

Error #3: Failing to Define Direction and Goals

Consider your own workday. When you have a clear outline of your immediate goals and priorities, do you have a more productive day than when you’re not sure what the priority of the day should be? Of course you do. When you fail to give employees a clear definition of the necessary direction and goals, they can’t prioritize their workload effectively.

Error #4: Forgetting to Train, Motivate and Reward

This one we’d like to pull from a great article in Inc.

Ongoing training is vital for not only the individual, but the entire company. There are thousands of online seminars for practically any discipline […] Next is motivation: Continually motivate your employees, whether it’s the executive team or the people lowest on the chain. […] Lastly, reward. If an employee excels, provide small bonuses. Even $50 to $100 can take that employee to a new level. And don’t forget the smaller stuff, like treating the office to lunch or a night out.

Error #5: Playing it Safe

Playing it safe is necessary at times. Equally necessary is knowing when to take risks. A successful leader knows how and when to do both. The term “no risk, no reward” is true. If you’re never willing to take a risk in business, then you’re also not willing to remain competitive. To stay in the race, you must act.

With over 35 years of professional experience, James Nagy is a Business Consultant, Website Designer, and Small Business Owner in Camarillo, California.  He is currently Managing Partner for J&S Tech Designs.