Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Everybody makes mistakes, right? And leaders are no exception. Priya C Nair discusses a few behavioural traps that most leaders fall prey to

Albert Einstein once said that anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new, thus making it clear that mistakes occur when you try something new or when you try to break the conventional way of doing things. Many of our leaders fall under this category of people who break the conventional modes and try to achieve success through newer models and thought processes. However, many a times, the mistakes that leaders make are overlooked or neglected and this could hamper the organisational growth, say experts. Here are a few errors that leaders must avoid:
Clarity in communicating one’s or the organisation’s vision and goals is important or else leaders will not be able to provide direction to their employees and the intended communication of vision will get diluted in the process. “This is very critical, as employees want to know what their organisation is trying to achieve and how that direction affects their personal objectives. Clear communication aligns their personal goals in line with that of the organisation, thus bringing about a focused path of progress for both,” suggests Anil Kumar Puthumana, senior VP – HR, Ness Technologies (India) Pvt Ltd.
According to Sudhanshu Pandit, director, HR, Symantec, leaders sometimes become too conscious about their position and try to make “artificial” changes to their behaviour. They may become less accessible/reduce informal interactions with their teams to demonstrate leadership. Employees usually see through these changes and are likely to feel distanced from their leaders or lose respect. Leaders need to remember that they were given the opportunity because they demonstrated leadership traits, many of which may have been their natural personality.
Pandit feels that some leaders think it is easier to complete a task himself/herself than delegate. But this denies the team member the opportunity to learn, grow and develop. Also, in the process of doing the team’s jobs, leaders miss out on focusing on their own key deliverables.

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