6 Leadership Mistakes That Are Detrimental to Startups
Great leadership is absolutely crucial to the success of your startup. Click here to learn about common leadership mistakes that must be avoided.
Did you know that 90% of startups fail?
That’s right – and poor leadership can be the beginning of the end for a new business.
If your leadership skills aren’t up to scratch, your business will never reach its full potential. You won’t get the best out of your staff, productivity will suffer, and you’ll struggle to grow your business.
Luckily, many common leadership mistakes are easy to rectify once you’re aware of them. That’s why we’re sharing six of the most detrimental mistakes, along with tips on how to fix them.
Does this list read like a description of you?
Then read on to learn how you can make a change before your business suffers!
1. Not Getting Input from Others
Just because you’re the boss, that doesn’t mean you need to make every decision on your own.
There’s a reason you pay your staff. They’re experts in areas you might not have much knowledge about, they have experience that you don’t, and they can offer unique and valuable insights.
To get the most value out of your employees, you need to use them
Think back to the last few business decisions you made.
Did you consult another member of the team? Hold a meeting for staff to share their thoughts? Talk with your mentor?
If the answer is consistently no, you need to start making an effort to ask others for their input. Put together a decision-making plan or flowchart, and make sure it involves other members of the team.
2. Having Poor Communication
Have you ever worked somewhere where you literally never saw the boss?
It’s important for employees at all levels to feel that they have a line of communication with you, particularly in the rapidly-changing environment of a startup.
If an issue arises, your staff need to feel able to tell you about it. Getting to the bottom of problems the moment they occur saves you time, money, and future hassle.
On the other side of the coin, it’s key for you to be able to communicate positive developments and achievements with your employees.
Working in a startup can feel stressful and uncertain, so hearing about awards the business has won, new growth opportunities, and positive client feedback can make all the difference to staff.
Using online communication tools and company social networks is an easy, accessible way to keep in touch with all your staff, particularly if you’re spread across multiple sites.
3. Micromanaging Employees
Micromanagement is one of the worst leadership mistakes out there.
It’s been shown to have devastating consequences for employees, contributing to everything from health issues, reduced productivity, and relationship stress.
But how do you know if you’re micromanaging? And what can you do to stop?
If you’re spending a lot of time on tasks below your level, asking for updates on work that you’re not directly responsible for, and always feel dissatisfied with results, there’s a good chance you’re micromanaging.
Micromanagement often comes from a place of fear. Maybe you don’t trust your employees to do a good enough job, or perhaps you’re hoping to avoid issues by being constantly updated.
These concerns are valid, but being a leader is all about hiring the right staff, making sure their skills are up to speed, then letting go.
If you have genuine issues with quality, look at hiring more experienced staff or arranging better training. If you’re simply struggling to let go, remind yourself that your business will never succeed if you try to take control of everything.
4. Resisting Postive Change
Do you often reject new ideas in favor of sticking with the way you’ve always done things?
Not being open to change is one of the biggest leadership mistakes you can make. It’s extremely rare for businesses to stay completely true to their original vision, as new developments often mean a change of course is necessary.
Many start-ups found success precisely by changing their direction, either to adapt to a new platform, offer a new service, or take advantage of a gap in the market.
With new developments in technology, businesses need to constantly adapt to make the most of the tools, platforms, and markets available to them.
Would you rather fail while clinging onto old ideas, or succeed while embracing change?
5. Being Afraid to Critique Staff
If you’ve ever taken a leadership course, you’ll have heard all about how important it is to praise employees, nurture their talents, and bring out the best in them.
That’s all true, of course, but it shouldn’t persuade you against giving constructive criticism.
Even the best employees in the world make mistakes, and they won’t know how to improve unless you tell them.
At the end of each project, take the time to note down areas where improvement is needed, then meet with your staff to discuss next steps. These could be further training, better communication, or more thorough planning.
The important thing is that you’re always encouraging staff to learn and grow, not stay stagnant.
If you find yourself constantly working to resolve issues, adjusting your expectations, and making excuses for poor performance, don’t be afraid to let staff go.
A good leader knows how to make hard decisions, even when it doesn’t feel good.
6. Not Admitting When You’re Wrong
We all make mistakes, and getting it wrong doesn’t mean you’re a bad leader.
However, failing to admit mistakes isn’t a smart move.
It sets a poor example to employees and prevents you from building a trusting relationship with your team. It can also prevent you from reaching a solution, wasting time and money.
A good leader admits their mistake openly, takes steps to resolve it, asks for help where necessary, and doesn’t let issues get blown out of proportion.
You’ll be making mistakes for the rest of your career, so learning to take responsibility for them is essential.
How to Avoid Leadership Mistakes
If you want to avoid common leadership mistakes, you need to listen to others, accept that you can’t do everything yourself, keep communications open, and admit it when you’re wrong.
If you’d like to discuss improving your leadership skills then connect with me today!