One leadership trap that sneaks on people is allowing their team to become bored with the vision and goals of your organization. The longer you lead and the higher you go up the ladder of success the more dangerous the desire to coast and take it easy becomes. If you succumb to the temptation to slack off in your efforts toward success and begin to set small goals not only will your personal productivity suffer but your team can become demoralized through your complacency. This will make them easy prey for head hunters seeking to poach your talent. If you staff your team with hard charging, goal oriented, passionate people, then remember that those are the kinds of people sitting in the offices downstairs as you piddle and waste time with easily achieved goals. If you have “race horses” you have to keep entering them into races. Race horses will never be content to munch hay in the barn no matter how comfortable the stall. You must continue to challenge them or you are going to find your stalls empty or even worse filled with plow horses who will never win a race.
What can you do?
- Take your leadership temperature at least once a year
- Invite trusted friends to evaluate your goals to see it they are drifting down
- Allow your team to freely assess the organization
- Empower your best people to create projects that will stretch them
- Treat the entire team to challenging leadership conferences
- Never stop learning and growing yourself
At some point in your career you may decide you don’t to work as hard or challenge yourself anymore. That is a fair decision, but be aware that your “race horses” will soon jump fence. At that point you either need to step aside and allow a new leader to take your place or prepare your organization for the inevitable decline in productivity that will follow.