Leaders take on a lot of responsibility. Whether you’re striving to start up a meaningful business or you’re directing the work of a single team inside a large company, the decisions you make matter. Here are three of the biggest mistakes leaders make and some ways to avoid them:
Hiring Too Quickly
Leaders in a business startup have to move fast, think faster, and put in more hours than anyone else. To get this load off your desk, it’s tempting to hire as soon as you possibly can, just to have someone else to help you with the work.
However, when you hire too quickly, you run the risk of choosing the wrong person at a time when your business needs care and cultivation. Choose the wrong person and you also risk wasting money when that person jumps ship – leaving you responsible for the costs of hiring a replacement. Focus on finding candidates who share the company’s culture, passion, and work ethic.
Expecting Too Much Too Soon
Even when you find the right person for the job, it’s important not to expect too much too quickly. Leaders of startups find it far too easy to forget that a new hire doesn’t have the same vision or experience as those who have been with the business since its first day. That doesn’t mean that new hires can’t gain that vision or experience – but it does mean that leaders need to pay more attention to onboarding and enculturation. Train team members thoroughly, and you’ll be able to trust them with the important details.
Failing to Delegate
The flip side of expecting new employees to handle too much responsibility too soon is refusing to hand off responsibility at all. Although leaders like to have things done in a specific way, the best leaders train their people to do tasks in that way, rather than taking an “I’ll do it myself” approach.
Delegating doesn’t have to be limited to employees, either. Consider working with a staffing firm to help your company find people who offer the right fit at the right times. Handing off many staffing tasks to a staffing partner who specializes in fulfilling them gives you more time to focus on what you do best.