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Common Leadership Mistakes
August 07, 2018

Back to Basics

As you already know - my job is to help managers improve their performance.

Most of the managers I work with for the first time - if I gave it a rough number, I would guess about 99 percent of them - they make FUNDAMENTAL leadership mistakes.

Some of these managers lead a few employees, some of these managers lead entire business units - meaning - these managers have direct reports, their direct reports have their own direct reports, these direct reports also have their own direct reports, etc., etc., etc.

What never stops amazing me is the fact that most of them - the great majority of them - make basic leadership mistakes.

Most of them have learned to lead by trial and error, by learning from their current and previous bosses, by going to leadership development courses, etc.

But still - they lead more by “gut feeling” than by proven leadership best practices.

In this Leader Newsletter issue I am going to mention two foundational mistakes.


It hasn’t ever occurred to most of the managers that I work with for the first time that values is a leadership tool.

Values are at the BASE of any successful organization.

When I say “organization,” I mean the whole spectrum: from a tiny organization of two people, all the way to an entire society.

Without values, we would destroy each other - as simple as that.

Values are crystal-clear behavior guidelines.

They make it explicit to your team members what behaviors ARE acceptable and what behavior are NOT acceptable.

In this sense, values create patterns of behavior - more specifically - patterns of desired behavior.

And simultaneously - values assist you to extinguish undesired behaviors.

Values help you build the culture of the team you lead by conscious design - and not by unconscious default (like the great majority of managers do).

To make your job as a leader objective and much easier, you must hire, lead and fire according to your explicit team’s values.

Without values - translated into specific behavioral language - it is extremely difficult to lead your people and your team.


Trust in itself is not a leadership tool.

Trust is the outcome of your leadership competence.

Trust is like pregnancy:

Either you are pregnant or you are not.

Either you trust all your team members to be frank with them - or you don’t.

Trust allows your team members to open up their mouths and say what is really going on inside their heads without being afraid.

I am not talking about sharing your most intimate childhood traumas.

I am taking about sharing ALL relevant information to the issue at hand, work-related of course.

When your people really speak up their truths, express their perspectives, and share their knowledge – then and only then – you and your team begin to have access to all your team’s available information.

And why is it vitally important for your team to have access to all your team members’ information?

Because information is the main ingredient to effective decision-making.

Trust goes hand in hand with a 100 percent open communication environment.

Trying to lead your team without trust and without a 100 percent open communication environment is very difficult if not impossible.

And whose responsibility is it to create trust and a 100 percent open communication environment within the team you lead?

Yours of course - and only yours.


Values and Trust may sound “nice” - and they might make you look like a good and ethical boss.

But their real reason here is “results”

Values and Trust are the foundation of any successful high performance team, and organization.

Questions? Feedback?
Reply to this Newsletter and tell me what you would like future issues to be about.

Feel free to re-send this "Leader Newsletter" to your colleagues.

And click here to see the entire "Leader Newsletter" Archive.

Most recent 12 "Leader Newsletter" issues:

Motivation Fundamentals
What exactly is “Coaching”?
Debate vs Discussion vs Dialogue
How a tiny stick may help your discussions
Practical and powerful communication technique
One of the most effective communication tools
New Year & Your Direct Reports
Are you conscious about this responsibility?
Are you being unconsciously reactive?
Your Emotional Intelligence
Your main challenge within the team you lead
Are leaders born or made?

See you next month!
Joseluis Romero - Publisher
July 3, 2018. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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