Mistake No. 3: Modeling the wrong behavior. You’re probably saying all of the right things to your staff. But are you leading by example? For instance, you may tell your employees it’s important to keep their skills up to date, but when was the last time you invested the time and money to learn a new skill or attend an industry conference? Perhaps you want your sales reps to be out there networking, but how many mixers and meet-ups have you been to this quarter? Or do you tell your employees to stay home when they are sick but insist on soldiering into the office when you have your own case of the sniffles?
Managers are people too, and we each have our own imperfections. The trick is to make sure you are setting a good example in your key actions. One IT executive I know would make a big show of going home at 6 p.m. each night, because he knew that no one in his department wanted to be perceived as leaving “early.” Sure, he’d go home and burn the midnight oil, but he made sure to provide the most powerful permission he could to his employees to leave at a reasonable time — by going home himself.
If any of these mistakes rings a bell, take heart. Good managers inadvertently commit these errors all the time, but once you realize where the stumbling blocks are, you can make a different choice and evolve to the next level of leadership.
Jennie Wong is an executive coach, author of the e-book “Ask the Mompreneur” and the founder of the social shopping website CartCentric.com.
©2013 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)
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