by Michael Holland    

Great leaders do all the right things.  They establish a culture and traditions within their teams; they communicate and coach up their employees constantly; they situationally adjust their leadership style to match the environment and the mood of their employees; they encourage their employees to stretch their abilities; and on and on and on.

But there are 5 things great leaders NEVER do….

  1. Lecture employees on work-life balance.  Great leaders know that the work and personal lives of employees are intertwined in a way that requires a blending, rather than balancing, of their energy.
  2. Abandon their post.  They stand tall and straight, always taking full responsibility for their behavior and the behavior and outcomes of their team.  Great leaders know that the role of a leader requires them to have broad shoulders and kind hearts.
  3. Leverage their title for authority.  Great leaders know they must earn the right to lead, gaining permission from employees through the development of one-to-one relationships.
  4. Shy away from giving feedback.  Great leaders know that there are hundreds of learning moments each and every day.  They seek out and seize these learning moments as coachable opportunities for their employees, and they provide critical feedback in the same manner as positive reinforcement. This enables employees to engage in self-development.
  5. Make dishonorable decisions.  Honor and integrity are serious characteristics to great leaders.  They know that it is far more important to make the right decisions for their team than to succumb to the immoral, narcissistic draw of self-gratification.

The role of a leader comes quickly to many professionals as they move up within the ranks of an organization. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, a promotion is merely the next step in the path to obtaining a certain status and income level. And too often, these new leaders receive little or no training and practice in the art and science of being a great leader.

Learn to be a great leader by focusing not only on what you should do but also on what you shouldn’t do.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Which one of the 5 things listed in this Leadership Learning Moment do you feel you struggle with most as a leader?
  • Did you have any training for your first leadership role?
    • If yes, how did it go? What was it like?
    • If no, how can you apply this advice to yourself as a leader now? How can you help to train up other emerging leaders?