The Seven most Common Errors Management and Leadership

Developing good leadership in the workplace in the face of numerous challenges is not an easy task. And if the leader seeks to be an ethical leader in his role, it seems to me that the challenge is even greater. But what is ethical leadership?

According to Brown, Treviño and HarrisonI)Michael E. Brown, Linda K. Treviño, David A. Harrison (2005). Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 97 (2): 117-134., “ethical leadership is related to the behavior of consideration, honesty, trust in the leader; justice […] ethical leadership predicts results such as the perceived effectiveness of leaders, satisfaction and dedication in the work of followers and the willingness to report problems to management.” Something not so difficult to perceive on a daily basis is the inability of some leaders to manage their team correctly and consequently act as an ethical leader.

In light of this, I would like to point out seven mistakes made in leadership that can lead us away from the goal of being ethical leaders.

Do not give feedback

It is often not easy to read or understand what the leader has to go through. In general, some leaders do not make it clear what they want in a project or certain activities. So, for those involved in the project, feedback is very important. Imagine a certain attitude of an employee that displeases the leadership or will damage the relationship with the customer. The employee responsible for such an attitude does not imagine that his attitude displeases his immediate leader, besides damaging the customer’s relationship. Many leaders fail to give such feedback after an employee’s poor performance. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is not providing feedback.

Do not invest time in your team

The followers tend to follow their leader’s example. This is the big difference between just being a “boss” or a true leader. For your team to do well, the leader needs to invest time, pass on his thoughts, goals, his way of thinking so that the whole team can walk together. That famous phrase: “the doors are always open” is indeed very essential in this matter. Your team needs to know that they can count on you in any need so that they can develop their respective goals well. It’s okay that you also have your activities and projects to deliver, but nothing like a well-organized schedule in which the time to be invested in your team will be included.

Not being involved in the project with your team

Imagine that you have an important project to deliver and you put it in your team’s hands. However, this project has been misinterpreted and now the time is tighter than ever. It is very likely that what you set out to do to the client will not be able to be delivered unless you throw yourself in the head, start over, work in “double” shifts, etc. Being involved in the project with your team can prevent this type of situation. Be attentive to what you are doing, hold small meetings asking for feedback on what is happening and make sure that what you have asked for is being carried out in the way that the project really should be done. With that, your team will be safer when they realize that the leader is aware of what is happening, in addition to of course knowing that the project is on the right path.

Failing to set goals

Your people may be expending considerable energy, as they do not have a vision of what they need to do. Setting goals is essential for productivity to occur. Furthermore, the team has the ability to follow the same path when the objectives and goals are outlined by the leader, who must follow the team closely.

Do not understand correctly what motivates the team

It is wrong to think that the team is motivated only by money. Do you know what motivates your team? Some people are motivated by issues that others are not interested in. Some may give importance to the possibility of having a weekly day working at home; others may give more importance to a more flexible work. Some people are motivated by the work environment itself, extra responsibilities or even words of thanks. Try to understand what really motivates the people on your team and try to bring this balance to work. Remember, it is not just the monetary result that motivates people.

Be a role model

As a leader you need to be a role model for the team. Do you speak ill of people or your superior? It is very likely that people on your team will do the same. If you want people to leave later, be the one who works late. If you want people to be on time, be yourself on time. People are watching you, be an example for them to follow you. If you want the environment to be changed, start with yourself.


Do not delegate tasks

Many leaders believe that their team is not able to do the tasks as they do. With that, they end up not delegating what should be delegated. So it absorbs many things for itself and adds many responsibilities. You need to delegate and believe that your team will be able to do the job. Only then can you better lead them to carry out their respective jobs by taking some of the pressure off you.

According to Brown, Treviño and Harrison, “ethical leadership is related to the behavior of consideration, honesty, trust in the leader; justice […] ethical leadership predicts results such as the perceived effectiveness of leaders, satisfaction and dedication in the work of followers and the willingness to report problems to management.” Something not so difficult to perceive on a daily basis is the inability of some leaders to manage their team correctly and consequently act as an ethical leader.

In light of this, I would like to point out seven mistakes made in leadership that can lead us away from the goal of being ethical leaders.

Do not give feedback

It is often not easy to read or understand what the leader has to go through. In general, some leaders do not make it clear what they want in a project or certain activities. So, for those involved in the project, feedback is very important. Imagine a certain attitude of an employee that displeases the leadership or will damage the relationship with the customer. The employee responsible for such an attitude does not imagine that his attitude displeases his immediate leader, besides damaging the customer’s relationship. Many leaders fail to give such feedback after an employee’s poor performance. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is not providing feedback.

Do not invest time in your team

The followers tend to follow their leader’s example. This is the big difference between just being a “boss” or a true leader. For your team to do well, the leader needs to invest time, pass on his thoughts, goals, his way of thinking so that the whole team can walk together. That famous phrase: “the doors are always open” is indeed very essential in this matter. Your team needs to know that they can count on you in any need so that they can develop their respective goals well. It’s okay that you also have your activities and projects to deliver, but nothing like a well-organized schedule in which the time to be invested in your team will be included.

Not being involved in the project with your team

Imagine that you have an important project to deliver and you put it in your team’s hands. However, this project has been misinterpreted and now the time is tighter than ever. It is very likely that what you set out to do to the client will not be able to be delivered unless you throw yourself in the head, start over, work in “double” shifts, etc. Being involved in the project with your team can prevent this type of situation. Be attentive to what you are doing, hold small meetings asking for feedback on what is happening and make sure that what you have asked for is being carried out in the way that the project really should be done. With that, your team will be safer when they realize that the leader is aware of what is happening, in addition to of course knowing that the project is on the right path.

Failing to set goals

Your people may be expending considerable energy, as they do not have a vision of what they need to do. Setting goals is essential for productivity to occur. Furthermore, the team has the ability to follow the same path when the objectives and goals are outlined by the leader, who must follow the team closely.

Do not understand correctly what motivates the team

It is wrong to think that the team is motivated only by money. Do you know what motivates your team? Some people are motivated by issues that others are not interested in. Some may give importance to the possibility of having a weekly day working at home; others may give more importance to a more flexible work. Some people are motivated by the work environment itself, extra responsibilities or even words of thanks. Try to understand what really motivates the people on your team and try to bring this balance to work. Remember, it is not just the monetary result that motivates people.

Be a role model

As a leader you need to be a role model for the team. Do you speak ill of people or your superior? It is very likely that people on your team will do the same. If you want people to leave later, be the one who works late. If you want people to be on time, be yourself on time. People are watching you, be an example for them to follow you. If you want the environment to be changed, start with yourself.


Do not delegate tasks

Many leaders believe that their team is not able to do the tasks as they do. With that, they end up not delegating what should be delegated. So it absorbs many things for itself and adds many responsibilities. You need to delegate and believe that your team will be able to do the job. Only then can you better lead them to carry out their respective jobs by taking some of the pressure off you.

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I. Michael E. Brown, Linda K. Treviño, David A. Harrison (2005). Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 97 (2): 117-134.
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