Monday, 25 november 2019 | Redacción CEU
Leaders are the visible face in teams. They are the people who assume the control and who are responsible for managing the group’s activity. Does this mean that all bosses are good leaders? Does this mean that all the people who are responsible for making the important decisions in teams have leadership skills? Does this mean that whenever someone takes command, he or she plays a good role as a leader? Indeed, it does not. Being a leader means something more than representing a hierarchical position. Although the term "leader" does not always appear next to the word "ethics", somehow, it is always affected by its relationship with it.
In this blog, we have mentioned on multiple occasions the attributes that good leaders should have, how they serve as an example for the rest and what makes employees be inspired by them. On the contrary, we have not delved into the mistakes that they should avoid if they really want to aspire to become ethical leaders. In this case, the use of the verb "to aspire" is not unintentional: being a leader is not limited to simply complying with a list of requirements, but rather is a constant effort to learn and overcome oneself. It is a process through which human beings must be placed in the center, no matter how difficult the context is. Although each situation and scenario are different, knowing someone else’s mistakes may be really useful on your way to becoming a good leader.
What mistakes should be avoided to become an ethical leader?
Highlighting differences between the different members or the team
Many professionals are accustomed to rewarding individual efforts to the detriment of global ones. This is a common way to measure performance. For example, this is what bosses do when they get angry because "X" has sold ten items while "Y" has only sold seven. Sometimes, they forget that there are factors that are also crucial for the good performance of teams: Y’s performance might be decisive for X’s selling. It is important to know both how to focus on what is really failing, as well as on what is working well. Leaders should not get carried away by superficial approaches, they should go beyond. Otherwise, they might end up reproducing prejudices and fostering a climate of hostility, rather than one of healthy competitiveness.
All employees are different. Therefore, when leaders take advantage and enhance the special skills that the different members of the team have, it is when teams grow and prosper. However, this cannot serve as an excuse for giving a different treatment to workers. In this sense, striking a balance is key, without ever forgetting to work on what makes each employee different.
Showing little willingness when delegating
Thinking that leaders are the people who always have to make all the decisions in teams is a serious mistake. Delegating is a way to involve the team members in the achievement of goals. As long as it is the boss the one who makes all the decisions, employees will not be able to identify with the projects in which they participate. There are tips when delegating that may be really useful in this sense such as entrusting the task to the most appropriate professional, sharing the possible information about the task, supervising the process, offering support and help when necessary, etc.