Three Pitfalls to Avoid in Leadership Development

Posted by Yen Phuong Nguyen on

If you want to be a good leader, you must set up a process for developing your leadership skills and implementing them effectively. It is said to be an important factor to improve and enhance the operational quality of your business organisation.

Read more: Should organisations invest in a leadership development plan in 2018?

However, this process is not simple, and here are the three pitfalls to avoid in leadership development.

Three Pitfalls to Avoid in Leadership Development

Three common leadership development pitfalls

Overestimate one business book

Books, the greatest human property, are the appetiser for wisdom, especially towards leadership. Therefore, it is not hard to understand why business books become indispensable items for all talented leaders.

However, it would be a dangerous mistake to overestimate one particular business book just because it is a best-seller. When you over-idealise the book, you will blind your own eyes with what you think is true. 

Read more: Key factors that contribute to exceptional leadership

Since very few books can be actually put into practice, any plan built from a certain book can be seriously faulty. Consequently, your leadership will be questioned by employees in your team who find your methodology groundless and unreliable.

To successfully lead with the knowledge obtained from a business book, you need to make sure that book goes in-line with your organisation’s unique circumstances, and your programs are carefully prepared and fully facilitated. Also, taking possibilities and risks into account is essential.

Read more: 5 principles of effective organisational coaching

Misunderstand the required leadership skills

Another trap is not utilising the right leadership skills in the right place at the right time. Specifically, it means you engage the wrong set of skills in different operational stages of your organisation.

For an instance, when your business is in the growing period, an innovative mentality is probably highly prioritised for leadership skills; but in hard times, an influencing way of leading may be preferred.

As a result, your business will be wasting unnecessary expenses for unsuitable plans, and employees will be dissatisfied because they do not see the needed efficiency in the way you lead. To avoid this pitfall, you need to carefully study your organisation, as well as the general strategic vision, at each specific period of time before deciding which leadership skills are needed at that time.

Read more: 3 leadership & management skills that will help you succeed anywhere in the world

Confuse “manager” and “leader” terms

Perhaps this is the trickiest trap in leadership development, simply because both "manager" and "leader" positions do the work involved in the operating apparatus of your business. If you cannot distinguish between managers and leaders, you may misapply skills in your work.

Usually, managers excel in organising, planning, and executing tasks; leaders are often good at making strategies, spreading influence, communication, training, and inspiring others. However, great managers are often chosen for the leader position and they find themselves with many difficulties since their natural talent is better suited for the management positions.

Therefore, your organisation needs to have a clear orientation of the differences between "manager" and "leader", and minimise misconceptions that can lead to mistakes in leadership development.

In conclusion, leadership development is an integral part of a business, and the consequences of these mentioned pitfalls can become unpredictable threats, both in human resources and finance. Accordingly, having a thorough understanding will help you avoid them in order to lead and perform better.

Looking for better ways to maximise your current leadership development strategy? Talk to our experts by requesting a completely free demo today!

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Topics: Talent Management

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