I have been fortunate to work with a lot of great leaders and teams over the years; I have also witnessed my share of challenging teams.
Here are 7 common "mistakes" I see leaders make with their teams:
1. Ignoring the importance of investing in people.
Many managerial leaders concur with this Henry Ford quote, "Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands they come with a brain attached?" Smart leaders know the importance of investing in people. Investing in people impacts both employee engagement and culture, which in turn impacts client experience.
2. Over-promise what their team can deliver.
The best leaders manage expectations and generally under-promise and over-deliver. This requires the leader to push back on unreasonable demands and expectations on his or her team.
3. An over-emphasis on individual accomplishments versus team goals.
Sure you want to reward individual performance, but not when it conflicts with team goals. If your reward system creates infighting and unnecessary competition, you'll want to think about how to create rewards that emphasize team goals and collaboration.
4. Over-emphasis on policy and rules.
Yes, it is important to give your team guidelines and boundaries, but no one ever went to work for an organization because it has great rules and policies.
5. Over-emphasis on results.
We all want to win, but too much focus on the result ignores the importance of the journey and the relationships built on the way. On the journey to success good leaders seek to have relationships intact and are also able to take the lessons learned on the way to the next project or goal.
6. All work and no play makes a dull team culture.
In addition to being a recipe for burnout, there is a mountain of evidence that play is critical to creativity and innovation.
7. Under-emphasis of roles and goals.
The most talented team will fall apart with unclear roles and goals. Take time to define roles and how each role fits into the overall team goals.
What mistakes have you witnessed? Please add to the conversation—comment below or on Twitter at @gregbellspeaks.