“Failure is not an option” became a popular catchphrase after the release of the movie Apollo 13. Failure happens, but when you’re responsible for the people working for you, you have to do everything you can to guard against it. As a leader, devote yourself to avoiding these crucial failures in leadership:
Disconnecting from people.
Don’t get so caught up in strategy and planning that you forget to talk to the people who work for you. Most of the time, they know more than you about how things work from the ground level, and their insights can be valuable.
Doing too much.
Delegate appropriately so you don’t get overwhelmed and lose sight of the big picture. When you hire, look for people who can perform aspects of your job as well as or better than you can. Your role is complicated enough without adding tasks that your team should be able to handle.
Play it safe, and your organization will never grow. That doesn’t mean being foolhardy with your organization’s assets. Seek opportunities everywhere, and be willing to commit resources wherever you’ve got a reasonable chance of success.
Take care of yourself, physically and mentally. Eat well, exercise, and take time off so you can stay fresh as you confront the day’s challenges. Pushing yourself to the brink will only increase everyone’s anxiety.
Falling in love with authority.
You’re the boss, not a monarch ruling by birthright. Don’t rely on your title, and the volume of your voice, to get employees to do what you want. Base your decisions on your experience and judgment, and be willing to listen to other points of view instead of assuming that only you know what’s right.