Common leadership mistakes to avoid as a new business leader

Becoming a new leader in any organization is an exciting yet daunting prospect. If you finally have the opportunity to implement your ideas and lead initiatives. On the other, you’re now responsible for a team of people who are depending on your guidance. It’s only natural for new leaders to make some mistakes when they first take charge. By being aware of the most common leadership pitfalls beforehand, you avoid falling into them yourself.

Not communicating goals and vision

The most crucial responsibility of any leader is to set the direction and goals for their team. Many new leaders fail to communicate their broader vision and goals effectively. Without a clear understanding of where the team and organization is headed, employees operate in silos. Not knowing how their work ties into larger goals leads to misalignment and confusion about priorities. That’s why it’s critical as a new leader to over-communicate the vision and strategy around which your team’s goals are centered. Both in group settings and one-on-one, ensure every employee understands how their role ladders up to support organizational success. Also, be clear about why particular goals and metrics matter.

Doing everything yourself instead of delegating

Next, a mistake new leaders make is trying to take on too many responsibilities themselves instead of delegating tasks appropriately. Especially if you were an individual contributor before, you might continue working in the weeds instead of focusing on managing and leading your team. Failing to delegate will not only overwhelm you it also prevents your employees from developing and miss opportunities to leverage their unique strengths. As a new leader, your time is now more valuable spent on higher-level strategic planning, communicating with stakeholders, and coaching your employees. So, take a step back and consider what responsibilities you pass on to your team. Think about which projects align with each person’s skills and interests.

Not providing enough feedback

Constructive feedback is crucial for helping employees continuously improve their skills and progress in their careers. As a new manager, your team will look to you for guidance on how they’re performing and where they still have room for growth. Without receiving regular feedback, team members are more likely to feel directionless. They may not know what they’re doing well versus areas they need work on. A lack of feedback could leave some employees feeling like their efforts go unnoticed. That’s why new leaders should prioritize providing ongoing, real-time feedback to their reports not just during annual reviews. Set aside time for regular one-on-one meetings to provide praise and constructive criticism to help your team members grow. Just be sure to balance negative feedback by highlighting strengths too.

Expecting immediate results

Avoid putting too much pressure on your team to deliver immediate results as soon as you take over leadership. It takes time for employees to adjust to your style and get aligned around new goals and priorities. Expecting overnight transformative results could demoralize your team and make them feel set up for failure. Leaders who constantly shift goals and seem unsatisfied with progress risk burnout and high turnover. Maintain realistic expectations around the level of change you implement and the performance your team achieves in a short timeframe. Set incremental goals and celebrate small wins to keep motivation high while working toward larger, long-term transformation. With patience and gradual progress, your leadership will have a greater impact over time. Follow the scott biddle scotlynn leading ways to make a difference.