Successfully leading a team isn’t easy.
The best leaders recognise this fact, and know they make mistakes. They understand there are often better ways to do things and that their ideas are not the only ideas worth pursuing. They are also alert to the warning signs that signal their leadership may be faltering, or even in trouble.
But what are the warning signs to look out for? Here are six to consider:
1. Unwilling to change
It’s easy to get stuck in your ways and to see the traits that got you to your role as the skills and capability that will carry you forward. However, in a world that is constantly changing success requires leaders to embrace the notion that successful organisational transformation, requires not just change for those around them, but personal change for themselves.
Successful leaders are open to change and to trying new things and to thinking differently.
2. Smartest person in the room syndrome
The downfall of many great companies can be traced to the hubris and arrogance of its leaders. Having a fixed mindset, the leaders close themselves off from feedback and feel they have nothing more to learn. Seeing themselves as the smartest person in the room they believe there is nothing more to learn and so are unwilling to listen to others.
Successful leaders know there is always more to learn, and they don’t have the sole mandate on good ideas.
3. Surround themselves with sycophants
While surrounding yourself with “yes” people may make life easier in the short-term, it doesn’t create long-term, sustainable business outcomes.
Seeking out the differences of opinion is critical, because it is this diversity of thought that aids ‘out of the box’ thinking. Similarly, it is often the person with the dissenting opinion or probing questions who generates the unique perspective and who can see the missing piece of the puzzle.
4. Won’t hire people smarter than them
Everyone knows the criticality of getting the right people into the right roles. However, leaders can be uncomfortable to hire people who are smarter than them for fear it will show them up in some way.
However, successful leaders know that they can’t do it alone. They look for team members to complement and enhance their leadership and capability, and to help them execute their vision. As Jim Collins, the Author of “From Good to Great” said: “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”
5. Only welcome good news