two men wrestling with armsBeing a leader can be overwhelming and intimidating, especially if you are new to the role. Making mistakes is human nature, but by utilizing leadership team building activities and external team building  events, new leaders can learn from and avoid common leadership team development mistakes.

With so many articles written on the subject, you are sure to come across long lists of mistakes to avoid. The following articles offer valuable insights into a few of the common mistakes new (and seasoned) leaders make: Mistakes Leaders Make: Showing Off Your Smarts , Mistakes Leaders Make: Alienating People by Winning Too Much , and Mistakes Leaders Make: Playing Favorites .

The following list offers insights into mistakes to avoid while striving to become a better leader.

Don’t be the smartest one in the room. According to Mistakes Leaders Make: Showing Off Your Smarts, leaders sometimes feel the need to prove themselves, which can translate into a game of “who’s smarter?” This is a bad idea for anyone, let alone leaders. When you are constantly striving to prove that you are the smartest person in the room, you neglect to listen to others around you. This is an unfortunate situation to be in as a leader because you are missing out on potentially game-changing ideas from your team members. And not only that, you are alienating those around you, which could cause some to lose respect and dismiss your authority. So instead of always trying to be the smartest person in the room, listen to the ideas that your team members share, and open up the lines of communication.

Don’t be the only winner. According to Mistakes Leaders Make: Alienating People by Winning Too Much, winning as a leader can be a problem if you focus on winning at the expense of your team. This can include withholding information from your team members, constantly arguing with anyone and everyone or being hypercritical of your team members. This can lead to employees feeling alienated, which undermines your effectiveness as a leader. Team members will be less productive and less excited to come to work, which will hurt the overall culture and morale of the workplace.

Don’t pick favorites. According to Mistakes Leaders Make: Playing Favorites, favoring certain team members over others can lead to a poor company culture that promotes the idea that sucking up will help you advance in the organization. This causes a problem because it makes team members focus on doing what they think you want, rather than doing what is best for the organization. Leaders should focus on creating a culture of equal opportunities based on performance, rather than sucking up.

Don’t forget your resources. Part of being a good leader is recognizing when you need to use outside resources to your advantage. Leadership team building events or case study clinics, such as the 6 Principles That Build High Performance Teams , offer leaders proven methods to better lead, manage and transform low performing teams into excellent ones and for leaders in training before assuming management responsibilities.

Everyone makes mistakes, but as a new leader, you can avoid some common mistakes by knowing what traits to look for and knowing when to use leadership team building activities to your advantage.

Copyright TIGERS Success Series by Dianne Crampton

About TIGERS Success Series, Inc.

TIGERS is an Oregon Team Building Consultant situated in Bend, Oregon that serves leaders through out North America. Founder, Dianne Crampton, has helped leaders build collaborative work cultures and high performance teams for over 20 years.  She offers team development clinics to HR Executives, Project Managers, Consultants and Business Executives and Managers who desire high levels of collaboration within their operations and was nominated by Merrill Lynch for Inc. Magazines small business awards for her unique approaches to assisting post mergers and acquisitions by building a collaborative work environment. She licenses HR executives in the use of TIGERS proprietary methods.