With so many impressive entrepreneurs out in the world, there are many inspiring stories of good leadership, but how often do business leaders hear the tough love on how to NOT be a good business owner? There are many common ways in which managers alienate, upset and under-perform. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes, so that you can make sure to avoid them in your own business.
Here are the biggest signs of a bad leader:
- You make things about you. Being a leader is not about ego. Many entrepreneurs struggle with vanity, and can’t stand being out of the spotlight. A great business owner should be focused on making their team shine. One of the biggest differences between a good leader and a great leader is that while the good leader has followers, the great leader creates other leaders.
- You lead with words but not with example. The old saying of “do as I say not as I do” can be toxic for an entrepreneur. Your team looks to your behavior for guidance, and if you are constantly behaving unprofessionally and breaking the rules, you cannot expect your team to do otherwise.
- You dish it out but you can’t take it. There is no way to get around it; giving out criticism is a key responsibility for a business owner. Most business owners know this, but what many forget is that you also have to be able to take criticism yourself. A good team will feel comfortable pushing their leader to improve, and if you are constantly taking shots at the team without listening to suggestions, you will fail.
- You think you’re always right. We have teams for a reason, and it’s because groups work better together than any single person can perform alone. There are multiple answers to every problem. While each of us may be partial to our own solution, a good leader will listen carefully to the opinions of others. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to assume that your answer is always right. Harness the creativity of those around you. It’s part of why you hired them.
Do you have what it takes?
Most leaders are visionaries who prefer to dwell on the positive, but examining how not to be good business owner can be a stark reminder that we all have weaknesses. Sometimes you can learn more from a bad leader than you can from a good one.
Garland and Mason, LLC is a firm of New Jersey business lawyers specializing in real estate and bankruptcy law.