You might consider yourself a good leader, but would you classify yourself as a great leader? There’s a good chance you could make some improvements in how you lead your team. Sometimes, these improvements mean correcting bad habits or avoiding common leadership mistakes.

If you are wondering if you have developed any bad leadership habits, read on. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share guidance from Art Petty, a coach, author and speaker, on seven things leaders should stop doing.

1. Trying to outshine everyone else. As a leader, it’s your job to coach and guide your sales reps. It’s not your job to make sure everyone else knows why you’re in charge. According to Petty, leaders should stop trying to be the smartest person in every (Zoom) room and instead focus on helping their team members grow smarter and more confident.

2. Relying on an open door policy. It’s always a good idea to make yourself accessible to your sales reps, but you should not require them to cross your threshold—digital or otherwise—to engage with you. Petty suggests going to where your employees are and meeting them in their environment. Fit your communication style to match theirs.

3. Delegating talent recruitment. Many leaders outsource their talent recruitment, which can save time but does not demonstrate strong leadership. The best leaders become great at identifying solid talent, says Petty. Strive to build a portfolio of sales reps you can call when a role becomes open and always be on the lookout for exceptional professionals.

4. Oversimplifying strategy. Many leaders try to boil down complex ideas into catchy sayings. Petty has heard one CEO say, “Our strategy is like a cheeseburger.” Employees wondered if they were the cheese, lettuce or bun. Instead of extremely simplifying strategy (which no one appreciates), work to engage your team members during the strategy process. When you show them how they play a role in it, they will be more likely to share input and process how to bring the strategy to life.

5. Creating meaningless goals. Too many leaders create professional goals for their employees that are written in corporate speak and mean little to the employees. This year, commit to better goals by working with your sales reps to identify the skills, experiences and opportunities that can help them reach new levels.

6. Using vague rules for success. High-performing teams know their core values. They tap into them when a new rep joins the team and when the going gets tough. No one has to second guess what is important. Petty encourages leaders to not assume corporate values are enough. Take the time to work with your sales team and write the specific rules for success. Be sure to define expected behaviors for challenging situations, too.

7. Wasting time on status updates. When you meet with sales reps one-on-one, don’t take up time with status updates. These are always in the toolbox of the lazy leader, according to Petty. Instead, he advises using the meeting to zero in on significant issues or challenges confronting you or your sales rep.

As a leader, you may have fallen into some bad habits. Some of these tendencies may have snuck up on you without your even realizing it. If you can relate to any of the habits above, think about how you can switch course to show up in a better way for your team and your organization.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Art Petty is an executive and emerging leader coach and a leadership and management author, speaker and workshop presenter.