The truth is that every leader needs to change their mindset. Some changes are just more drastic than others.
Anyone who has led or has studied the field of leadership development will tell you that building and maintaining quality relationships is a key to success. However, having the goal of being best friends first with every team member will hurt you.
Now before you act as you have never micromanaged, stop right there. You have been guilty of it, and I have as well. To closely observe, control, or remind others what they should be doing or how they should be doing is an easy thing to do when you are ultimately responsible for their choices. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it correct.
Research for the SkillsLoft assessment has shown accountability is one of the top 4 weakest leadership competencies in managers, only behind listening, empathy and communication.
Sure there are many possible factors that can cause a team to underperform. These are just a few: lack of talent, talented people not meeting their potential, changes in the market, or a lack of resources. Still, ultimately, one person is responsible, the leader.
Ever tried to have a tough conversation with someone and it went terribly wrong? Or worse, you know you need to have a difficult conversation but you hold back, only to run up against the same problem three months later? These conversations are especially important if you are in a position of leadership.
It’s human nature to want to be liked. While there is nothing wrong with this desire, it may be hurting your ability to lead others effectively.