7 Mistakes I Have Made As A Leader & The Key Lessons
I want to preface that that these 7 mistakes are merely lessons. That is how I want them to be seen, because there is so much courage in getting the juicy lesson from the short-coming, mis-handlings or mistakes that we may make along our way as a leader.
The greatest challenge in developing brave leaders is not a lack of professional skill or knowledge. The greatest challenge is helping them recognise and answer their call to courage. ~Brene Brown
As leader in any capacity, true transformation comes from unearthing an alignment with courage. To show up as we are. To learn from where we have gone, from where our dreams are taking us.
I didn’t expect to write a post like this, but it what’s on my heart. It’s what is percolating through me.
Here are my 7 Mistakes I’ve Made as a Leader & The Key Lessons
1. Being a control freak
I wanted to do everything. I had such a hard time letting go of being the one that had the final say. I had to learn to LET GO. I often have to remind myself to ‘step back so that your leaders can step forward’. Only when we give space and release the ‘white knuckled grip’ on all aspects of our business, can leadership bloom.
2. Not taking time to de-compress and step away
I hustled and worked my health and life into the ground. I was SO focused on hitting an arbitrary rank of success, that I lost so much of my life. What I needed to give myself permission to do, was rest. I needed space to breathe and didn’t allow myself to do so. If we don’t rest, then we either create an expectation of hustle/burnout -or- we set an example that no one feels they can or want to follow.
3. Not shinning into my own strengths and the strengths of my leaders
This was a huge learning curve for me. I had spent a majority of the time building my business, and my own career, trying to mitigate and lessen my weaknesses. When someone would say that they were terrible with social media — my first response was to try and sort out how to make them better at it. INSTEAD I should have said ‘so what do you actually enjoy doing if you don’t like social media?’
When we exalt our strengths, we grow.
There is tons of research on this, and a great video on this. I would encourage you to all to look at the Strengths Finder books. It will CHANGE how you do business and will change how you related to your leaders. They will begin to uncover their own innate intuition and unearth it in their builders as well.
4. Not having a clear vision and plan for my business
I flew by the seat of my pants for over 2 years. Whilst it was exciting at times, it’s was EXHAUSTING. I felt like I was always reacting and creating large amounts of new content all the time. I didn’t have a clear vision of how I wanted my social media to look like, themes for my business, consistent approach to mentoring or supporting my team.
It does take intentional balance in the beginning to create flow and systems in your business. But once you do it’s so dang helpful.
One of the things which has helped me is to think about ‘what questions do I get asked about all the time?’ — and then make videos, systems, trainings or education around them. The key is that these answers are duplicatable and accessible for your team in the future.
5. Being too involved in things which sucked my energy
This is a classic of my over-achiever inside of me. I was in WAY too many groups, giving way to much energy and time into things which honestly did not grow my business. Be mindful of what energy vampires you let into your business. Especially if you have limited time when starting out your business, think clearly about what you can commit to, what is giving you inspiration and what is energising you. Everything else has to go. You have to remember to water your own grass and take care of your own leaders.
It’s nice to have people like you and want more from you, but if they’re not in your business and they aren’t paying you for advice/mentoring — be mindful if saying yes and is saying ‘yes’ wise and needed.
6. Enabling my leaders
Remember #1 on this list, well perfectionism is buddies with enabling. I had a hard time ‘cutting the apron strings’ because I didn’t want people to fail. As leaders we want them to succeed. Which if we’re not careful can result in us holding on for too long. We want to answer all of their questions. We don’t want to have uncomfortable conversations. We baby them. We want to make sure that they never ever fail. So we bubble wrap them, lower the standards and in turn exhausted ourselves in a culture rich with enabling.
We have to learn to release. We have to learn to trust that they have what it takes to step up. And if they choose not to, then we don’t hold grudges. We work with where they are at and we pour into their strengths.
7. Not celebrating enough with intentional connection
This one is one of the hardest things for me. Personally I struggle with celebrating my successes and feeling comfortable in community. BUT people want community and feel like they are part of something.
So I have admitted my faults and limitations and desires to my team. I do as much recognition as possible. Instead of creating the rah-rah in my business, I have connected like minded leaders in message groups. This way I can share information, tips, answer questions and provide immediate support in a way that feels aligned to me.
I think it’s really about finding a way that works for you.
I would love to know some of the mistakes that you’ve made as a leader and the lessons that you’ve learned form them. I hope that me sharing has inspired you to become a bit more courageous with your own journey and the lessons which have helped you grow.