Being a leader is probably one of the hardest jobs in the world. It can be incredibly difficult, demanding, and overwhelming; but, of course, it can be rewarding, satisfying, and fulfilling too. The point is, leading a team takes a lot of effort to do it right. The last thing you want as a leader is to let down your team or make excuses. Jeff Haden with CEO.com wrote a compelling list of excuses bosses tend to make. We wanted to bring those to light and offer a better solution.
“I don’t need to thank people for doing their jobs.” This logic doesn’t even make sense. Of course you should thank people for doing a job well done. It shows you appreciate them and their hard work. This is part of engaging your team to their full potential. It’s called positive reinforcement and it’s your job to dole it out when deserved.
“I’m under too much pressure.” As a leader, you are always going to be under pressure. We all are– it’s part of the gig. If you feel overwhelmed, delegate tasks to your team. It’s what they’re there for.
“I don’t make enough to deal with this (crap).” Well, that’s probably true. Great leaders are rarely compensated as much as they should be, but it doesn’t give them any excuses. Helping employees reach their own goals is part of the compensation. They’ll appreciate your hard work in engaging them.
“People work better when I just leave them alone.” Then maybe it’s time to check what the actual source of the problem is… Engaged employees work better when they know what direction to go in. Of course, good employees know how to do their job without being babysat, but the point is to work together on solution based strategies.
“I shouldn’t have to deal with all the politics/agendas/emotions.” Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you are exempt from dealing with company politics. It is actually your job to facilitate a solution. It’s your job as a leader to make your company environment fun and safe and conducive for good work.
“She’s starting to get too much credit.” This one is just downright ridiculous. You should never be afraid of your employees ‘outshining’ you. They are a reflection of you and you should be proud of them, particularly when they are succeeding. A great leader surrounds themselves with great people.
“It was good enough for me…” Just because it has always been done doesn’t mean it should always be done. If you are excusing harsh behavior because it happened to you, you should take a step back and think about that one. Different people respond to different treatment and tactics. Just because something worked for you doesn’t always mean it will work for someone else. Treat your employees with the respect they deserve and take the time to figure out what works for them as individuals.
“I need to spend some time with employees, so I’ll go chat with Mary.” You should know your team as the individuals they are– on a more personal level. But you can’t just gravitate towards the few you have some things in common with. Every employee deserves your attention and your respect– not just the ones you like the most.
“We don’t get along, so why waste my time?” It can be quite difficult to work with someone who you feel doesn’t like you. It is your job as the leader to clear the air. When you give your employees the space to air their opinions, it can do wonders for your working relationship.
As those in charge, it is our job to engage the team to their full potential. These 9 excuses should never be apart of the equation! Focus on how you can a good boss and an even better leader. Remember that a leader is really a servant to the people. Learn to bring out the best in your team and you will see wonders.