For a startup to stay relevant and become successful, having a good product is not enough by itself. Even average products perform well when they are backed by the right team led by an efficient leader. People with great passion and drive for entrepreneurship are not necessarily good leaders who bring out the best in their teams. A startup where talented teams are badly managed is bound to fail even if it is well-funded. Even experienced managers end up making the following leadership mistakes that lower employee morale and cost the company dearly.
- Hire people like you
A team needs people who can accentuate each other’s strengths and mitigate weaknesses. It would be a good idea to hire people who can complement you. It maybe tempting to bring on board people who are just like you and agree with your ideas, but that decision would backfire when the startup goes through stressful times. If these people are like you, it is quite likely that they will have the same weaknesses as you.
- Having a poor feedback system
Good communication is not about just speaking your mind in clear words. Communication is a two-way process, which is incomplete without feedback from the receiver. It is important to have an effective and regular feedback mechanism in place that will make employees realise that they have a stake in company operations. It is a highly motivating practice that many entrepreneurs ignore. There are different tools to gauge team engagement like, employee surveys.
- Ignoring day-to-day demands to focus on final strategy
Small day-to-day events carry indications to bigger problems that may prove fatal to your business plan. It is not possible to set realistic long-team goals if you have no idea about the performance of immediate targets. For example, if the team doesn’t have necessary cashflow for day-to-day operations, it will be difficult to meet customer requirements, no matter how good the product is. They will be forced to compromise on the quality of supply and after-sales service, which will have a domino effect on the future of the company.
- Inability to see positives
Good leadership is all about creating a positive, encouraging environment for your employees to bring out their best. Such an environment will give you a competitive advantage, hold the company together in stressful times, support organisational growth and steer your business model to success. Even criticising partners, friends and family at work can pave the way to water-cooler gossips and a toxic work culture. If an employee is causing negative sentiments, find out about ways to address the reason behind that negativity privately.
- Passing the blame onto others
This is really the worst mistake one can do as a team leader/entrepreneur, no matter how qualified they are. While trying to maintain control and focus on their goals, many managers tend to blame the failure on external events, people or other reasons. This is a mark of poor leadership and eventually leads to creating a toxic environment. Do not set an example by your own poor actions.