4 Avoidable Mistakes Leaders of Underperforming Teams Make

Businesswoman pointing to a mistake in a paper

4 Avoidable Mistakes Leaders of Underperforming Teams Make

“Why aren’t my people doing the RIGHT things?”
“My people just don’t listen.”
“My team is lazy.”

If your team isn’t achieving the desired result, take a look in the mirror and think about how you’re leading them. Here are the 4 huge and avoidable mistakes leaders of underperforming teams make:

1. Assuming they already know what’s expected of them. Let’s face it. Some jobs are tedious. The monotony of doing the same thing day in and day out can easily get in the way of achieving results. Ensure your team knows (and is constantly being reminded of) the goal they are working towards. We use this formula to create goals that become achieved:

Clear Goal + Completion Date + Carrot

The carrot is critical and keeps teams motivated for the duration. What is it that your team will get if they reach the goal? Is it an afternoon off? Will you do some crazy stunt like take a polar plunge?

2. Holding them accountable for the WRONG things or not holding them accountable at all. Accountability is a leader’s obligation. Before you can hold them accountable, they have to know what “great” looks like – that’s setting the standard. Then you can hold them accountable to those standards. The best thing you can do when introducing standards is to explain why they exist.

3. Not reinforcing positive, desired behaviors. Accountability isn’t always about showing your disapproval when a standard isn’t met; it’s also about reinforcing positive behaviors you want to continue. Praise people when they exceed the standards set. When you do, you’ll notice others follow suit.

4. Not being consistent. Consistency is king. You have to show up to lead your team with the same level of intensity day in and day out. Hold them accountable every day because the minute you lower your standards is the minute performance begins to erode. Goals are achieved with consistency over time. If you want to reach the goal, you have to do the work.

If you’ve seen any of these mistakes in your managers, consider implementing a leadership development program in your organization. Check out our Building the Best Workshop.

Need Help Developing Leadership Skills of Your Managers? Developing managers into leaders is difficult. A great step is providing a formal development opportunity such as the Building the Best Assessment and Workshop.  Learn more here.