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3 Things You Should Never Do as a Leader

When I first became a boss, no one handed me The Leadership Handbook telling me what to do – or more importantly, what NOT to do, in order to lead a team of people successfully . It was more of a trial and error situation – cue scraped knees and furrowed brows, both mine and my teams.Boy, I wish someone had been a bit more explicit when it came to what to avoid at all costs. I didn’t commit all three of the following travesties, but I’m embarrassed to say I did fall prey to at least one of them.So if you’re starting out on your leadership journey, or if you’re an old dog who needs to (un)learn a few tricks, let me spell out three non-negotiable NO GO’s when it comes to being a boss.Related: The 5 Step Process for Better Delegating These bad behaviours can destroy team morale, create a toxic work environment, or simply make people hate turning up in the morning to work for you.

The three leadership transgressions you should avoid at all costs are as follows:

  • Shouting at your employees. Add to that, any other form of overly aggressive behaviour – table thumping, standing over someone, using intimidating language. It makes people feel fearful and there’s no learning when there’s fear. Plus, you just look like a dick. If you recognise this heinous habit in yourself, it’s time to work on your emotional intelligence. For starters, look up Daniel Goleman and devour anything he discusses on this subject.
  • Berating people in public. Public shaming is incredibly damaging to the person on the receiving end and to the culture of a place. Once again, it creates fear and disengagement. Feedback should always be constructive and delivered in private, with the person’s development and best interests in mind. Feedback should be a gift, not a weapon.
  • Never apologising. No one is perfect and that includes you too, buddy. A leader who never apologises is seen as arrogant and pompous. People don’t tend to follow people they consider arrogant and pompous. Apologise for your muck ups – to customers, your team members and to your colleagues. Admitting your mistakes builds trust, and generates respect – two fundamental ingredients for skilled leadership and high performance.
  • You don’t want your employees jumping ship given the first opportunity. Good people are hard to come by. So do yourself and your team a favourand never commit these three leadership crimes.