Leadership

3 fundamental pitfalls a leader can fall into if they're not careful

Stopping the domino effect
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Stopping the domino effect

No one said leading was easy. Not only are leaders supposed to motivate individuals, they are also there to inspire, to direct, to manage, to be the good and bad guy — and of course to deliver.

A lot rides on a leader. And with all the rewards, there consequently comes a lot of drawbacks and pitfalls. So for any leaders concerned, help is at hand: enter leadership and management coach Chris Hallberg.

In Hallberg's "The Business Sergeant's Field Manual," the leadership coach breaks down key details on what it takes to thrive as a leader — also highlighting the dangers that can lie ahead.

In an conversation with CNBC Make It, Hallberg broke down three hazardous areas for leaders — which could cause detrimental damage to relationships with their employees:

1) Leaders who don't add to the relationship — they only subtract from it

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Coming from a person of management, what sounds better: Asking "What can I help you with?" or "Did you do what I said to do?" In this scenario, Hallberg says the first question accomplishes a lot more than the latter.

"If you have been clear with your vision and your expectations (both long term and short term) and you have the right people in the right seats, you won't need to micro-manage your team," Hallberg notes, adding that as a leader, you should "strive to be a great communicator."

"Strive to be a great communicator" -Chris Hallberg, Author of " The Business Sergeant's Field Manual"

2) Leaders who don't give proper credit to the contributions of their employees

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It's likely you've come across the phrase "(to give) credit where credit's due" — well keep this in mind, as it's important for the leaders — and aspirational ones — out there.

"While it's true the team shares in their victories and their defeats, a great leader calls out major employee contributions with their peers and superiors," Hallberg notes, adding that "a great leader hires great employees and gets out of their way."

To Hallberg, Richard Branson embodies what it means to be "a great leader," as the Virgin Group co-founder puts his people in front of the likes of shareholders, clients or suppliers.

"When employees feel like they are the last to be cared for, it's very difficult for them to give their very best. After all, if they don't feel valued by the company, why should they value the company itself?," said Hallberg, when explaining how Branson defies this type of behavior, by putting employees first.

Consequently, to Hallberg, an "inadequate leader" can end up taking credit for success, and placing blame on their employees for failures that emerge.

"A great leader calls out major employee contributions with their peers and superiors" -Chris Hallberg, Author of " The Business Sergeant's Field Manual"

3) Leaders who lack a level of consistency

1931: Movie still from the 1931 film, 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.' Frederic March is shown in this still playing the film's dual lead role.
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1931: Movie still from the 1931 film, 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.' Frederic March is shown in this still playing the film's dual lead role.

Anyone can have a bad day at work — even bosses; but as Hallberg states, employees shouldn't have to cope with leaders having a bad week or month.

So how do you stop this from happening? According to Hallberg, by delivering "clear and consistent leadership and management" to those you work with and govern, this helps streamline the work environment. This gives staff members the chance to focus on the work that needs to be done — rather than the politics of navigating a tricky business relationship.

As Hallberg notes, "no one wants a Jekyll and Hyde character as their boss."

"Providing clear and consistent leadership and management to your team simplifies the work environment" -Chris Hallberg, Author of " The Business Sergeant's Field Manual"