With a lot on their plate, there are times that leaders forget to do things. While they may seem superhuman at times, they are mortals. Learning from what other leaders forget can provide a lesson for anyone that is on the path to leadership.
Often focused more on the potential risks or barriers that have to be addressed in the market, a leader can miss out on opportunities that otherwise seem like they are right in front of them. These opportunities could be external in the form of a market win. It could also be internal and involve a superstar performer that a leader completely overlooks. For a leader, this doesn't mean that they are forgetting to be positive or optimistic. It simply means that a leader has to have their eyes peeled for advantageous things.
When things are going great, it can be easy to forget about other problems, or what could stop current success. A leader must run many potential scenarios in their head at all times.
A leader may not realize that they are becoming complacent with the current success that the organization is achieving and will forget that, in order to stay relevant and satisfy a customer base's often changing needs and desires, the leader must evolve the organization. If a leader forgets about the benefits of an evolutionary mindset, natural selection will take over and those companies. A leader needs to put the necessary resources into studying the market and external conditions as well as the internal state of the company to determine a need for evolution and a plan for how it will happen.
While a leader may have outlined the changes that need to be made within an organization and determined why these are necessary, the leader may forget to actually take up the cause and motivate everyone else to actually make the changes. A leader cannot expect what is often a traumatic and scary event to just take place without them actually stepping out into the forefront to guide everyone else through it until all the change is completed. These are the leaders who end up wondering why the change never really did what it was supposed to do. Don't forget to be present and active in the change process. Also, keep in mind that trends change, and if you're business isn't leading those changes you will be obsolete overnight.
It's hard for a leader to think that someone will replace them one day, but it is critical that a leader is ready with a candidate and works with them directly to ensure they continue to provide the same culture and operating environment. Succession planning is a must even if retirement feels is so far away. It's important to start planning now with candidates in mind as a replacement to ensure that the organization continues smoothly and without a traumatic disruption.
A leader may be so caught up about the organization and their employees' wellbeing that they neglects themselves. In order to maintain a certain level of energy and enthusiasm as well as mental clarity, a leader cannot forget to consider how to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle between their personal and professional lives. A leader cannot work all the time and expect to maintain that optimum performance level, so they must remember to get rest, eat well, exercise and enjoy social time with loved ones. By taking care of themselves, a leader is more than likely to do a better job of taking care of the organization and the staff.
A leader may forget that employees have great ideas and can provide a different perspective that may actually even solve a long-standing problem. It's easy to think that because a leader has more experience and knowledge that no one else can tell them anything. However, forgetting that solutions come from everywhere is a detriment to the organization. Also, if a leader forgets to listen to employees, they might just conveniently forget to listen to him or her.
It's not surprising that most people don't want to think about those things that they aren't very good at, but it is critical that a leader actually remind themselves of these weaknesses. The strengths are easy to remember, but they must be put on the back burner for a while so a leader can give any weaknesses their full attention. Any of these weaknesses could adversely impact employees and the organization so it is important to keep these top of mind while also continuing to work on them so they are turned into strengths over time.
In being busy and taking on the responsibility of leading, it is easy to forget that there should still be time for an ongoing learning process and enhancement of skills. Reaching the top position in a company is not an excuse to stop professional (and personal) development. A person can still hone their leadership skills and other capabilities as well as learn more about their industry and new technologies. Don't ever forget that everyone has the potential for improvement.
A leader may think that emotions should be hid, as a leader because they may not be taken seriously otherwise. Instead, it is these emotions that are vital if a person is going to be doing something that involves people. It's okay for a leader to show their emotions and acknowledge that they are human and understand how employees feel. This humanizes a company's leader and increases the bond between a leader and their staff and build a deeper respect.
Failure and risk are part of the leadership process. Thus, a leader needs to remember to be brave but rarely does. Instead, doubt sets in and worry about what could happen is the result. Instead, a leader must always focus on bravery. They must take that leap to show their team that it is okay to take risk and try new things. It's courageous and is what sets an organization apart from its competition.
A leader should continue to dream about what the future of the company could look like. However, they often forget because they are caught up in the short-term outlook for the company. The dreams and visions for the organization are what fuels innovation and generate deeper value. A leader who can imagine what the company might be provides inspiration and excitement in their team to also dream. They create ideas for improving the workplace or adding more value to a new or existing product.
For a leader, there is a lot to remember. Maybe seeing these 12 areas will jog your memory as a leader; or you will take them to heart as you work towards a leadership position. I have personally been working on remembering as many as I possibly can. This is because the ability to be creative, collaborative, brave, open and balanced is huge. These can truly take my leadership ability to the next level as well as propel my organization toward new opportunities.
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