Marty Zwilling had a humous post about a month ago, derived from Daryl Rosen’s book, ‘Table for Three?’. All of these are descended from the old leadership maxim ‘blame everything on others’ which is all too common. The mistakes below are not only prevalent in startups, but also in ongoing enterprises. Here they are:
1. Blame others for everything. Rather than blaming yourself for setbacks, blame someone else….a coworker, the venture capitalists, whatever. This is known as ‘attributional bias’, and even though it might be understandable, it’s perceived as poor leadership.
2. Worry and fret about everything. Precious little about what we worry about ever happens, so don’t worry about it. How many times have you as an entrepreneur stayed up all night worrying about something, only to find out it didn’t happen? So, don’t worry about it, don’t share your worry and don’t worry about things you can’t control.
3. Criticise others and the company. Managers and others that criticise the company have something else negative going on in their lives. Make it constructive, put it in a suggestion box. Real leaders look in the mirror when they’re criticizing something.
4. Complain about being overwhelmed. Overwhelm is a feeling that always precedes growth, and it’s a state in which your brain is developing new pathways and connections. Starting a new business is always nerve racking. Again, work on what you can control, not the stuff you can’t.
5. Do 10 things at a time in a mediocre fashion. Sure, you can multitask, but you might be doing them all badly. If you do things badly, customers and associates will think you tolerate mediocrity. Focus on one thing at a time, although interruptions are inevitable, try to keep your focus.
6. Appear disorganized and manage haphazardly. See number 6. Stay focused. Mistakes will appear more frequently.
7. Fail to see the positive in others. If you hire well, your employees and coworkers will be good, positive contributors to your organization. Work on your personnel development.
Leadership and improvement is about taking small steps forward, and evolving a little each day. Think evolution, not revolution. Anyone can change one behavior every month.