Being in a position to lead others comes with an enormous amount of responsibility. People look up to you as an example of how to speak and behave. If you don’t slow down long enough to think about your words and actions, it will cost you the respect and trust of those you are trying to lead. Here are some specific things as a leader, you should never ever do.
Don’t power-trip. Even if you hold a great deal of power over those you lead, never throw it in their face. If you want to be a leader who is admired, lead with purpose instead of power. Those who base their leadership in power communicate their own insecurity and quickly lose the respect of their team.
Don’t steal credit. Leaders and bosses who take personal credit for the work of their team are not just frustrating but actually toxic. People quickly learn to either stay clear or work to undermine their leader’s self-serving efforts.
Don’t play favorites. If you’ve ever experienced favoritism, you know how damaging it can be. Few things are more demoralizing than a boss who picks favorites. As a leader, you need to treat everyone the same and encourage everyone equally. Otherwise, it becomes a game that no one wants to play.
Don’t suck up people’s time. There are bosses who email, call and text at all hours of the day and night, who have a habit of interrupting evenings and weekends with things that have to be done right now. If that sounds like you, know that the primary message you’re sending is that you don’t respect other people’s time.
Don’t be a control freak. you can recognize a control freak leader by their need to attend to every detail of everything and everyone. Nothing is ever good enough, because in the leader’s mind they would have done it better themselves. In short: that’s rubbish. Control freak leaders are too weak to even entrust others to do the job they were hired to do.
Don’t lie. Leaders need to tell the truth, even when the truth is the last thing people want to hear. Lies have a way of catching up with the person who tells them, so always speak the truth. Once you’ve been caught in a lie you have lost all trust.
Don’t intimidate people. Arguably the worst kind of leader is one who tries to reinforce their position by making others feel less capable. The essence of leadership is making people feel they can do the impossible. The best leaders establish their leadership by building others up, not by intimidating others in order to feel good about themselves.
If people cannot trust their leader to do their job—to inspire them to a common purpose and support them in achieving it—achievement and excellence become difficult, if not impossible.
Lead from within: It is the trusted leader who sets the bar high and then works hard to reach it every day.