Top 7 Leadership Mistakes to Avoid in High-Growth Times

When times are good, it’s not uncommon to let your guard down and fall to the pressure of quick and easy wins. Unfortunately, with those decisions come long-lasting consequences. Don’t get caught off guard making these mistakes! Read on to know what to avoid so you don’t fall prey to this tempting trend.

1. Assuming because times are good, nobody is going to leave.

Just because your company is taking advantage of the current economic good fortunes doesn’t mean other companies aren’t trying to lure your top talent away. Remain diligent in engaging with your employees and keep the conversations moving forward regarding their career development opportunities.

2. Promoting top performers for performance alone just because there are openings.

Ever had the experience of reporting to a leader that was highly successful as an individual contributor but terrible as a people manager? Performance alone doesn’t equate to effective leadership. It also doesn’t mean someone won’t be successful. The key here is to avoid shortcuts in the hiring process and incorporate a validated hiring and professional development tool that can predict success in a role based on the most important traits needed to lead.

3. Letting processes and key performance indicators lapse.

When business is moving quick and the pressure is on to ‘get it done’ you may be tempted to let important processes slip and just ‘deal with it later’. In a fast-paced environment “later” rarely occurs. Instead, pause and recognize the importance of this data for forecasting, investing in resources and scaling the business. As a leader, your actions need to be directly aligned with the company’s initiatives and values as it relies on you to practice responsible stewardship in your role.

4. Lowering the bar of the talent you interview just to make a hire.

We probably have all heard the term “butts in seats”. Not a good talent acquisition strategy. Let’s just say quality should always be the preferred action of a leader over quantity when it comes to hiring. Don’t shortcut your proven processes just to fill roles. It’s a short-term fix for a long-term headache you will eventually have to address.

5. Avoiding thoughtful feedback – both positive and constructive – because there’s no time.

It’s the responsibility of a leader to grow and develop their people during good times and bad. And to deliver feedback effectively, it takes skill and planning. (By the way, positive feedback is more than ‘good job’.) Don’t let busyness be an excuse for not coaching your people. And remember, as leaders, you should be asking for detailed feedback as well. The more tenured a leader has gained, the less unfiltered feedback you receive. So, ask, listen and learn.

6. Neglecting to nurture your professional network pipeline.

Believe it or not, when times are good that’s when you should be building, refining and nurturing your professional network. Unfortunately, many people wait until they need it. The downside of this approach is that your network may not be as responsive and, perhaps worst of all, you may not have the type of people in it you need. Instead, work to intentionally build it now so it’s ready when you are!

7. Thinking this high-growth time will never end!

As leaders, we may not want to think about the cyclical nature of business, but the reality is what goes up, must come down (and of course, eventually up again). Don’t let yourself be blindsided by this unavoidable trend. Stay diligent and continue to develop yourself and your team so you are always at the top of your game.

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About Kim

Kim Bohr is the CEO of The Innovare Group, a company renowned for diagnosing and repairing organizational and leadership disconnects. She works with companies and leaders to help them assess, align, and accelerate their strategic priorities that impact talent, execution, and business growth. Her mission is to make business better from the inside out. With over 20 years of experience as a cross-functional leader and executive advisor, Kim has worked with Fortune 1000 companies, mid-market growth organizations, and emerging startups to cultivate a holistic understanding of sustainable success. Kim's book, Successes, Failures & Lessons Learned, is a 12-week guided professional journal designed to be a valuable tool for companies to put into their employees’ hands to foster ownership and accountability over performance, execution, and career development goals. The outcome for the organization is greater team alignment between people+process.

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