I was just reviewing the research section of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ website and I rediscovered a great item from last March that I wanted to highlight. In open-ended questioning we did asking what are the biggest mistakes that leaders make 1,400 survey respondents identified that too often leaders either don’t communicate, overcommunicate, communicate inappropriately through outbursts, anger, or blaming, or simply don’t communicate clearly. In addition, leaders may fail to communicate the vision in a way that is meaningful, assuming that direct reports intuitively understand the direction of the company and their role in making this happen.
Providing inappropriate direction was the second most highly cited leadership mistake. Giving direction without involving others in the process, not seeking the feedback of others, and not empowering direct reports can cause frustration and lack of focus. In addition, using a generalized approach to direction rather than considering the person, task, and situation was cited as a key mistake made by leaders.
In today’s highly charged work environment, leaders have to provide a clear vision for people and then follow-up with the direction and support that people need to succeed. Failure to address these two important issues negatively impacts the performance and productivity of the people working in the organization. If you want the people in your organization to meet or exceed their annual goals, be sure that you are setting them up for success by establishing clear goals upfront and then providing the direction and support they need to achieve those goals throughout the year.