Are You A Good Leader Or Your Own Worst Enemy?

All executives face challenges every day. While some of these issues are easily remedied- others are not. In either case, knowing how to get out of your own way is often the difference between providing solid leadership and confusing an already complicated situation. So what are some of the most common challenges that leaders face today? Believe it or not, most of the issues revolve around people. More specifically the mistakes leaders make when it comes to working with the people in their organizations. These three areas that leaders fail can help you decide if you are effective or your own worst enemy.

From the smallest start-up to the largest corporation it's people who are the lifeblood of every organization. Without them, nothing happens. Hiring and developing the right people is essential for success yet an area where leaders face tremendous difficulty. Effective hiring requires an understanding of the core values and unique talents needed for your company to succeed and then creating effective and objective ways to measure candidates on that basis. Today there are numerous assessment tools to help match the right people to the right role in the organization. Take the time to learn and use them to improve your selection process.

The best talent in any organization likely became the best through the right training. Leaders who overlook this fact are missing a key part of building for success. The fact is, you can hire people with a great background, experience, education, and all the qualities that should lead to success but there is no guarantee they will deliver. Ultimately leaders need to help shape raw materials and talent into a cohesive team and group of people that can do their job in a way that is best for the growth of the company and its customers. I work with a leader who always asks interviewees the same question: "For whom do you work at this company?" Most often candidates answer "You". The true answer is the customer. The customer funds the paychecks in business and good leaders need to focus their team on doing those things that reinforce this fact. The right team works together much like a well-oiled machine where all of the gears and parts of the engine function together. Team members who complement one another can build an outstanding customer experience that creates revenue and repeat customers.

Knowing How to Lead By Managing
One of the biggest challenges I see in mid-level management is learning how to create a balance between telling people what to do and empowering people to do the job they were trained to do. Great leadership is not about micromanagement or keeping your thumb on folks all the time. In fact, it's the opposite. It's about trusting people enough to let them do the jobs to the best of their ability. In the end, leaders who can't manage end up trying to do it all by themselves and that's a quick path to failure. The best enterprises grow strong through building teams where efforts of the organization are multiplied geometrically through many people doing their part and doing it well. Great leaders understand the importance of hiring the right team, training them well, and letting them do their job.