People become leaders not because they are flawless, but because they are able to understand and correct their mistakes while maintaining others’ faith in them. The key to staying in a leadership position is recognizing weaknesses and working to improve. Sometimes, those weaknesses are relatively small, but they can have a big impact.
Anyone who has ever been in a personal or professional meeting with someone who could not stay off their phone knows how it can make them feel as though they are unimportant, yet it can be tempting to do it anyway. However, even on Zoom, people can tell if someone is continually looking down at their phone. If the phone is that tempting, it should be left in another room during meetings.
Another common error is including too many people on email cc lists. Some managers might worry that failing to do so will mean that someone is left out of the loop, but it can mean sharing information with some people who do not need it and might even lead to defensiveness among some staff. It may be better to sit down with interested parties and decide who needs what information rather than blanket sharing.
A leader’s conscientiousness can lead to micromanaging in some cases, and this can also lose them the support of a team. Micromanaging conveys the message to a team that they cannot be trusted to work and problem-solve independently. Instead, leaders should give teams the tools they need to make decisions even when those decisions are not necessarily the ones the leader would make. Focusing instead on the fact that the work is getting done can empower the team.
Being a leader can be overwhelming, and emails and messages might get ignored. However, this can give an impression of not caring about others to your colleagues, employees, and outside contacts. On the other hand, these emails and messages represent constant interruptions, and for many people, it is not practical to deal with them as they come in. One solution is to set aside a time daily or weekly, just to deal with replies. This means that the messages can be safely ignored outside of that time but that others feel that their concerns are being addressed.