Find a manager or startup CEO who hasn’t made a mistake and I’ll erect a statue to him or her.
The fact is, we all make mistakes. Most of the time they don’t have serious or fatal consequences and are part and parcel of everyday business life.
Just look at the gaffes by people like Steve Jobs who said of the Apple Lisa computer: “We’re going to blow IBM away. There’s nothing they can do when this computer comes out.”
Instead, the Lisa sank without a trace and Jobs found himself sacked from the company he founded. Fortunately for Apple, Jobs eventually returned to Apple and quickly rebuilt its fortunes. 
As Sir Richard Branson says: “One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes.”
The blunders go on and on. So, armed with that knowledge, let’s take a look at some mistakes managers and startup CEOs make:
 
7 Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Poor-decision-making | Teamwork.com High Performance Blog
Poor decision-making
We all make bad decisions at times, so you are not alone. If the decision had minor consequences then thank your lucky stars. In a startup environment where the startup CEO is going through a steep learning curve, mistakes often creep in.
But you need to examine why you picked the wrong option. For example:

  • Did you have enough time?
  • Were resources sufficient?
  • Were you too tired when you made the decision?
  • Did you have sufficient information?

Wrong decisions can lose time and money for your project or business, so you need to work on the causes and see how you can eliminate them.
 
7 Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Poor-communication | Teamwork.com High Performance Blog
Poor communication
You launch a project, but your team seems to be unsure of their roles. The reason? You didn’t prepare them properly by outlining the project and explaining it in some detail. To be effective, you need to communicate.
If not communicating regularly and with clarity, expect some confusion and possible delays. In instances when you can’t explain yourself and the goals, you have set for your project or mission then how can you expect others to understand your thinking and your decisions?
Eliminate confusion by using the following communication channels regularly to keep everyone up-to-date:

  • Email – useful for instant short communications.
  • Team meetings are perfect for briefings and exchange of ideas.
  • One-on-one meetings to ensure team members are progressing with their tasks and give them an opportunity to speak their minds.
  • Video conferences are ideal when your team is working remotely or in different buildings.

 
7 Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Indecisiveness | Teamwork.com High Performance Blog
Indecisiveness
You are confronted by a problem but are unable to decide on what to do. You can’t weigh up the pros and cons quickly enough, then are either paralyzed by an inability to arrive at a solution, or perhaps you decide to delay in the hope that some solution will magically appear tomorrow or the day after.
Right, well that won’t work. Instead, you’ll have people muttering about you behind your back, convinced that you can’t make up your mind. The startup CEO has a million things on his mind, so failing to act is certainly a killer.
No one wants to make the wrong decision, but failing to make any decision will label you as indecisive and weak. Indecisiveness is a sign of weakness, not strength. It will send a signal to your team that you’re weak and morale will suffer.  
 
7 Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Negative-attitude | Teamwork.com High Performance Blog
Negative attitude
Negativity is the enemy of all working relationships. If you are the one constantly moaning that your team is late with a task, or makes a mistake, then you’ll only sow the seeds of disunity and disharmony.
No one wants to work in a poisonous atmosphere. If you are constantly berating your team, then don’t be surprised if they fail to offer suggestions or ideas and succeed at doing the minimum required. You need to create a positive working environment and deliver a project on time, not intimidate everyone. So encourage them and you will be a winner.
 
7 Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Failure-to-delegate | Teamwork.com High Performance Blog
Failure to delegate
Assuming you can do everything and no one else can send the wrong message. If you don’t delegate some of your workload then it signals that you have no faith in your team. They will also be reluctant to go that extra mile for you. Heck, forget that – they won’t even go an extra yard.
Your team will always be happy to take on some responsibilities. By delegating you send out two messages – you trust your team and are happy to share the workload. Plus, it frees you up to concentrate on other tasks.
 
7 Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them - Failing-to-listen | Teamwork.com High Performance Blog
Failing to listen
Your team members express reservations about their preparedness for tasks, or lack of skills, but instead of hearing them out you berate them. Their concerns may be genuine, but your response is to shoo them away and switch off. If you’re a startup CEO in particular, you need to focus on the bigger picture.
Perhaps your team members have some suggestions on how to improve a project you are working on, but your mind is closed. Make the time to listen and you will be rewarded by a happier team, and perhaps some useful suggestions that might save time and money.
 
And finally…..
 
7 Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Not-learning-from-your-mistakes | Teamwork.com High Performance Blog
Not learning from your mistakes
The biggest mistake any manager/starter CEO can make is refusing to learn from their mistakes. No one is perfect, and mistakes will happen. However, to repeat the same error over and over says a lot about you – and it’s not very flattering.
The best startup CEOs or managers know they will fail sometimes, but are not dissuaded from trying again. They know how to use the experience of failure and turn it into a positive. They also expect team members to make mistakes too, but will encourage them to try harder.
As someone once said, “There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. What’s wrong is letting a mistake stay a mistake, without putting in effort to make it right.” Acknowledge your mistake, profit from it, and then move one.
 
Takeaway
Lead by example, not fear. Nurture a collaborative approach and use your team’s skills for mutual benefit. The key to your success is being able to manage well and not alienate people. Good luck.
What mistakes have you made or witnessed that are best avoided?