3 Biggest Leadership Mistakes People Make Today

One of the best leadership qualities that a manager can have is the ability to build up self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect in others. As a leader, your choices affect your entire team, especially your leadership mistakes.

However, we’ve all had bad bosses who do just the opposite. Today, I am going to identify 3 of the biggest leadership mistakes people make and provide some solutions.

Perhaps some of you have made some of these leadership mistakes in the past. The good news is, we can all learn what makes a good leader by taking a look at these missteps and correcting them.

By focusing on building self-esteem, you can help your team reach peak performance.

Each person has unlimited potential and can flourish in the right environment once that potential is tapped into. They have huge reservoirs of creativity that can be unleashed to solve problems, overcome obstacles and achieve business goals.

This includes you!

Raise Your Team’s Self-Esteem

The leader is the most important person in any organization.

The leader sets the tone by the way he talks, behaves, responds to others and treats people on a day to day basis.

People tend to “follow the leader” in that they imitate or mimic the behavior of the leader toward others. When you lead by example and treat other people with courtesy and respect, the rest of the group will follow.

A kind word from you to one of your staff members can make them feel happy all day. An angry word can make them feel frustrated, afraid and insecure for the rest of the day.  You must be careful.

There are specific behaviors that you can practice each day in any interaction to raise your team’s self-esteem.

When you deliberately take the time to build self-esteem in other people, you simultaneously eliminate the fears that hold people back from doing their best. A peak performance work environment, like flowers in the spring, blooms naturally around you.

Three Leadership Mistakes People Make

They Criticize Others

The first leadership mistake that managers make is that they criticize others.

Refuse to criticize anyone for any reason. When people make mistakes, you focus on the solution. Focus on what can be done rather than who did it and who is to blame.

This is the mark of the superior leader with admirable leadership questions

We all know that destructive criticism is harmful. Personally, we all hate to be the recipients of destructive criticism. It can make us angry for days, and even years.

Destructive criticism attacks our self-esteem, hurts our self-image and hinders us from reaching peak performance. It makes us angry and defensive.

If it is so hateful to us, why would we ever do it to someone else?

They Complain

The second leadership mistake people make is that they complain for any reason.

Complainers are always looking for something or someone to complain about.

They tend to associate with other complainers. They talk together at work and socialize after work. They go out for lunch and coffee breaks together.

Complaining becomes a natural way of life for them.

But there is a major problem with both criticizing and complaining. In both situations, you are positioning yourself as a victim. When you complain you actually weaken yourself.

You feel inferior and inadequate. You feel angry and resentful. You feel negative and unsure. Your level of self-esteem and self-respect will decline as you complain about anything to someone else.

If you are not happy about something, as the manager, you are entitled to bring it to the attention of the other person.

You are responsible for putting it on the table and discussing it. These are admirable leadership qualities that you must learn to develop.

If you are not happy with a behavior or an outcome, your job is to actively intervene to correct the situation. You can do this by being objective about the difference between what you expected and what has actually happened.

You then invite input on how you and the other person or persons can solve the problem or improve the situation. But you never complain.

They Condemn Others on Their Team

The third leadership mistake people make is condemning anyone for any reason, inside or outside of your company.

When you condemn other people, you demoralize the listener, and the self-esteem of the other person will be severely lowered.

When you condemn people outside the company, someone will eventually tell them what you have said. Usually, a distorted version is told and will come back to haunt you.

This seems to be a law of nature, and completely unavoidable.

These recommendations are equally as important when you are talking about competitors or customers in the marketplace. Never criticize your competitors.

Admire them if they are more successful in some areas than you are. Then, look for ways to produce even better products and services, and sell them even more effectively.

Never complain about people and problems outside your business. Instead, use that same amount of mental energy to find solutions. Resolve the problems that led to the complaints in the first place.

The Best Leaders Create a Positive Environment

When you develop positive leadership qualities, your general attitude diffuses a warm light and fills the entire workplace.

You create an environment where people are relaxed and feel good about themselves and their work. You will raise the self-esteem of everyone in the workplace.

Before we wrap up, I’d like to leave you with a thought to share with you friends and followers:

“Empower others to perform at their best by continually reminding them how good they are and how much you believe in them.”

Now I’d love to hear from you, so my question today is: Have you ever had a boss that made these mistakes? Have you ever made them as a leader?
Leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to follow up with you

Find out your areas of strength and how to leverage them to increase the success of your team. Take my “Leadership Questionnaire” to create a company your customer will value and recommend to others.


About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • A great article for leaders who strive to be
    more effective. As leaders hold a position from where they are
    mentoring/coaching their team, it is important to take a look back at the
    mistakes they’ve committed and carve more efficient ways to encourage their

  • ola

    Hi Mr Brian,
    i’m 13 years old and i’m in my school consider that there is competition between us . I am not talking about what I do when I study or how I succeed in but I help my colleagues if they have a question in the lesson. Is this selfish? And what do I do right? And if selfish what I do? i hope you answer me and i want to thank you because you change my life .

  • eloks

    How do you handle a situation where you market to people but find it difficult to get them to pay for your services? I go to market the training program for a hr consulting firm i work for which is free for this month while the subsequent months are paid for, the people have subscribed for the training but do not want to pay in advance for the real training that kicks off next month, how do i handle this?

    • Hi Eloks,
      Have you tried asking them to put a method of payment down to hold for the next month’s training but not charging until the paid training starts? Being as creative as you are allowed to test different outcomes will be your best shot at finding what works for you and your company.

  • Kevin Conley

    Hi Brian,
    Yes I have had a boss who demoralized me at times. Instead of motivated me, it discouraged me and ultimately I left the organization. I am not in an industry that I truly love. Just recently – a year ago, I became the sales manager for our west coast office. I have to admit, I have fell into this trap at times and now I am very careful with how I respond to situations or complex problems that need managerial oversight.

    But this article is the root of all management. Thank you!

    • Great to hear from you, Kevin, you make some great points. Thank you for reading and commenting, best of luck to your endeavors.

  • Hello Sir, thank you for stopping by to read my blog. My best advice for you would be to begin setting clear goals to improve your situation. That could be a number of things from looking for a new job to reading communication style books to help improve your current situation. Think of a few things that would make the most improvement, and start there!

  • Tiphareth369

    Really loved this article, which I think everybody can learn from. I worked for a few years in a work place where the managers all made these mistakes, including myself ( as an employee) and I started to criticize and complain about the leaders. These mistakes also resulted in total loss of respect for the managers, especially when criticism of certain employees takes place in a meeting in front of every employee of the office, a taboo in my oppinion. Fortunately I do not work there anymore but learned very well how NOT to run a business.

  • Ramona Lincoln

    I truely guilty of this criticizing and blaming instead to I will see the good in my team mates and build their self esteem. Let them that I believe in them. Thank you again for leadership tips.

    • I think you will find it makes a difference Ramona, good luck to you!

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