If you think that Leaderhsip is a soft skill with no hard cost outcomes & consequences, think again! In fact, here are 7 ways that your LACK OF Leadership will cost you. It’s no joke guys. I’ve seen it again and again. Lack of Leadership will cost you money and it might even cost you your business if you’re not smart enough to do something about it when you can. To drive this home, I’ve even included a price guide as to just how expensive these mistakes are for companies like yours. One $ is on the low side and four $ is on the high side. But don’t be misled. Even the issues that are least costly (one $) STILL come at a high price for you. So pay attention and see if you’re making these mistakes.
Not welcoming open 2-way communications $$
Ignoring this will cost you employee loyalty and employee self-expression – which costs you money from minimal productivity from your team. A huge expense when team output of deliverables is diminished due to lack of interest or motivation.
Communication is one of the 5 C’s of Leadership. One you cannot ignore. One you cannot engage in half-assed. It’s not just about saying the ‘right things’. It’s more importantly about listening for the right things. It’s about having a company culture where people trust they’ll always hear the truth from you and trust they’ll always be able to say the truth to you – without retribution.
Not being willing to delegate $$$
Avoiding this will cost you personal energy – which will cost you money in lost personal productivity & effectiveness as well as team efficiency. That’s lost revenue and wasted payroll dollars.
A large part of leadership is about making sure things run smoothly and efficiently, with or without you in the office! Stop thinking no one else can do it as well as you. They may likely do it differently but that doesn’t mean they can’t do effectively. Stop saying you “don’t have time to train someone”. By not training your team to handle duplicable tasks, you’re spinning your own wheels, which comes at the huge cost of you not working to your HRG use (highest revenue generating use) as well as you getting burned out.
Not focusing heavily on the Vision $$$
Discounting this will cost you focus and time spent on the wrong path – which costs you tremendously in revenue, with misdirected marketing expenditures, misaligned team members, chasing the wrong customers and getting nowhere as well as so much more.
There will always be distractions when you’re an entrepreneur. (I know because I AM one.) However, you must always, always, ALWAYS (did I mention “all the time”?) be focused on the Vision that you’ve laid out for your company and your team and your clients. When this is clear and you’re clear that’s why your in business, each and every decision becomes simpler. It becomes: “will this action/choice/decision serve our Vision and those that our Vision serves?” If not, it goes off the priority list or really low on the list. This simple measuring stick will save you from a great deal of bad decisions and all the fallout that goes with it.
Not letting failure be a teacher $$
Skirting this will cost you time – a resource you can NEVER regain – which costs you revenue gained from innovation and progress in your marketplace.
When you allow your fear of failure and all it signifies in your subconscious, (“not good enough” or “embarrassment” or “shame” or “humiliation”) you cease to take the risks (albeit calculated) that are so critical to being an entrepreneur. Failure is a noun and NOT an adjective about you. Great leaders use failures as vital data and feedback to get them on the track to what DOES work so they can move forward with velocity and certainty.
Not clarifying the relationship $
Forgetting this will cost you lost production time while you’re handling drama, which has no place in your company culture – which costs you revenue in employee downtime, your own downtime, cleanup from the drama and worse if the drama becomes a spectacle.
We want to be perceived as friendly, approachable and compassionate to our team members. People are happier working when they feel “part of a family” working for a common Vision. However, keep in mind that most families are dysfunctional and if you manage your team like a family, it can get very, very messy. Being too close to your employees will sway your decision making and that’s not good business. Be warm enough to care about your team and business savvy enough to separate the business relationship from the personal friendship.
Not understanding Motivation $$
Overlooking this costs you big time in employee production – which again costs you revenue because output deteriorates when people aren’t motivated to do more, work smarter and show up in a big way. Of course, this costs you money when people aren’t doing all they can do to deliver for the client, the team and the company.
Have you ever considered what truly motivates your team? Here’s a hint: chances are, it’s not just money! (This one I know from painful experience!)
Many leaders make the mistake of assuming that their team is only working for monetary reward. There’s more to it than that. Each team member has their own priorities and is looking for their position at work to support those. For instance, someone seeking greater work/life balance might be motivated by telecommuting or flex-time or an individualized workday schedule. Others will be motivated by achievement, extra responsibility, praise, or a sense of camaraderie. The key is: ASK!! Find out what they want so you don’t have to drag the train so hard! Find out so you don’t have to pull your own hair out in frustration trying to get them to step up.
Not “Walking the Talk” $$$$
Disregarding this gets you on an island by yourself and fast! It’s likely the most expensive mistake of all. It costs you revenue in more ways than we have time for here in this brief article. It costs you reputation – inside and outside company walls.
As a leader, you must be the role model by showing them how it’s done. It’s up to you to exemplify the behaviors, attitudes, commitments and character of your company culture. Just like any other community or “tribe”, your team members will look to you first for the bar against which they’re expected to measure such things. It’s crucial to remember that your team is watching you. And they’ll emulate you – inside the company and outside it – to the degree that you’re a positive influence in their personal growth and professional development.