7 Surprising Things Hurting Your Development as a Leader

If you are unhappy in your development as a leader, you’re not alone.  Many people in leadership roles struggle with hitting a plateau when it comes to enhancing their leadership skills. As with the path to developing any skill, you are going to hit valleys and peaks on your way to developing as a leader. If you are currently in one of these valleys or the next time that you find yourself in one of these potholes, consider some of these factors: 

Losing Your Sense of Purpose

As people get older, they change. As people change, their priorities change.  When their priorities change, their sense of purpose, why they are on the earth, and why they do what they do professionally might change.  Without a clear understanding of what you want and why, your leadership abilities are going to be negatively affected.

Skipping Out on Exercise

Any type of exercise improves your mood with the release of endorphins.  This gives you more energy, which will provide you an extra boost of things that are important in leadership; including, confidence, patience and time for your people.

Cutting off the Knowledge Fountain   

Why so many people just stop consuming knowledge is beyond me.  Its fairly simple, the depth of your knowledge is one of the best indicators your future.  Leadership is a journey and not a destination so it requires constant improvement and refinement.  The question you have to ask yourself is, how many books, podcasts, videos, experiences, or articles do you consume to increase your knowledge?  Are you investing in yourself to become a better leader?

Speaking too Much

It’s impossible to learn when your mouth is constantly moving.  Speaking too much stifles our skills and abilities to lead because the people you are leading don’t get the opportunity to blossom.  Try being more intentional in how many and what words you use.  That way, when you are speaking, it will be much more impactful.

Losing Touch with a Mentor

As time goes on, it’s easy to lose touch with mentors or the people that helped provide wisdom and guidance to get you where you are.  If this is something that has happened to you, grab your phone and reach out.  You will be amazed at the outcome.

Focusing too Much on Money   

With most promotions comes a raise.  All of sudden your life quickly becomes how much money you are making, and how much you have to make to based on your lifestyle.  Some call it “golden handcuffs.” If money is the majority of what you think about and pursue, it will become just one more hindrance to your ability to lead.

Eating by Yourself

Are you so busy, you scarf lunch down at your desk by yourself, or worse you skip it all together? If so, its hurting your development as a leader. Being a leader is about other people.  Sponsoring team lunches or scheduling lunches with specific team members are great ways to continue to develop as a leader.  They provide human opportunities to learn and inspire your team.

Some of these are easy to change, while others are extremely difficult.  If any of these resonate with you, start small by changing habits to remove or eliminate each one.  Keep in mind the ultimate goal is to do everything you can to stop hindering your development of being a better leader.

Ultimate Leadership Academy Do you lead a team and want to go to the next level?  Learn more about our 6 month online academy based on servant leadership principles, expert coaching, and practical action plans. Learn more here.

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a full-service organizational health company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. He is also the author of FML: Standing Out and Being a Leader and the upcoming book “The Welder Leader.” You follow him on instagram @johngeades.

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