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TOP 10 LIST: You Aren't Ready to Lead Others If... (and what you can do to be better at it)

This is an old topic that still somehow gets forgotten in practice in many organizations. All too often, in corporate America, we see examples of people being promoted into leadership roles based on their functional capabilities without a thought as to their leadership skills. In some companies, they may achieve higher positions just by virtue of their ability to manage office politics. But the reality is that leadership isn't about overseeing processes, maintaining order, and ensuring tasks are completed efficiently; leadership goes beyond these functional aspects. True leadership involves inspiring and guiding a team towards a shared vision, fostering an environment of trust and collaboration, and empowering individuals to reach their full potential.

"Power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn't someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own." — Beth Revis

Leadership is a skill, not an innate characteristic. It can be cultivated and developed over time. While some individuals possess natural traits that lend themselves to leadership (i.e., charisma or decisiveness), true leadership requires continuous growth and learning. By committing to personal and professional growth, you can transform into a great leader, capable of guiding your teams to success and fostering a positive, productive environment.

If you want to be an effective leader, regardless of your current job title or position, have an honest talk with yourself to determine your readiness to lead others and take steps to improve your leadership skills.

You Aren't Ready To Lead Others If ...

1. You Aren't Comfortable Delegating Tasks

Effective leaders understand that delegation is key to team productivity and growth.

How to be better: If you struggle to delegate, start by assessing your team members' strengths and weaknesses. Gradually assign tasks that align with their skills and provide clear instructions. Trust your team to complete the work and resist the urge to micromanage. Over time, as you see positive results, your confidence in delegating will grow.

2. You Can't Accept Feedback

Leadership requires the ability to accept constructive criticism and act on it.

How to be better: If you find it difficult to accept feedback, work on building a growth mindset. View feedback as an opportunity for improvement rather than a personal attack. Create an environment where open communication is encouraged, and lead by example by seeking feedback regularly from your team and peers.

3. You Micromanage Your Team

Micromanagement stifles creativity and innovation.

How to be better: If you tend to micromanage, start by setting clear expectations and providing the necessary resources for your team to succeed. Trust your team to complete their tasks and focus on the bigger picture. Regular check-ins can help you stay informed without hovering over every detail.

4. You Avoid Making Tough Decisions

Leaders must make difficult decisions, even when they are uncomfortable.

How to be better: If you avoid tough decisions, practice analyzing situations objectively and weighing the pros and cons. Seek input from trusted advisors but be prepared to take responsibility for the final decision. Over time, making difficult choices will become more manageable.

5. You Lack Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is crucial for effective leadership.

How to be better: If you lack self-awareness, take time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Seek feedback from others to gain a better understanding of how you are perceived. Engage in activities that promote self-discovery, such as journaling or mindfulness practices.

6. You Don't Foster Team Collaboration

Successful leaders promote collaboration and teamwork.

How to be better: If you struggle to foster collaboration, start by creating a culture of open communication and mutual respect. Encourage team members to share their ideas and work together on projects. Recognize and reward collaborative efforts to reinforce the importance of teamwork.

7. You Struggle with Time Management

Poor time management can lead to missed deadlines and increased stress.

How to be better: If you struggle with managing your time, prioritize your tasks and create a schedule. Delegate tasks where appropriate and set realistic deadlines. Use tools like calendars and to-do lists to stay organized and focused.

8. You Resist Change

Adaptability enables leaders to leverage changing circumstances to the team's advantage.

How to be better: If you resist change, start by embracing a flexible mindset. View change as an opportunity for growth rather than a threat. Stay informed about industry trends and be open to new ideas and approaches. Lead by example by demonstrating a willingness to adapt.

9. You Don't Invest in Your Team's Development

Leaders invest in their team's growth and development.

How to be better: If you neglect this aspect, start by identifying your team members' training and development needs. Provide opportunities for learning and skill enhancement through workshops, courses, and mentorship programs. Encourage continuous learning and professional development.

10. You Lack Empathy

Empathy is essential for building strong relationships with your team.

How to be better: If you lack empathy, work on improving your emotional intelligence. Practice active listening and show genuine concern for your team members' well-being. Understand their perspectives and offer support when needed. Building empathy will help you connect with your team on a deeper level and create a positive work environment.


Remember, great leaders are made through dedication, learning, and the ability to inspire others to achieve their best. By focusing on these principles, anyone can evolve into a leader who not only drives success but also fosters a positive and collaborative environment where everyone can thrive.


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