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Start-Ups

5 Leadership and Management Mistakes Holding Back Entrepreneurs

By Barbara Beauregard   |    September 28, 2016   |    12:36 PM


Many entrepreneurs are driven by the appeal of being their own bosses. They get to make all the decisions, from company strategies to marketing techniques to human resources. It all looks good on paper; however, in practice, managing people is much more difficult than most realize. To better streamline your operation and generate goodwill, learn the most common leadership and management mistakes made by the average entrepreneur.

People Aren't Machines - avoid these HR mistakes:

While prices, markets and numbers can all be itemized and quantified, human beings are far less predictable. Diverse attitudes and backgrounds can make universal management strategies seem like an unrealistic prospect. That said, entrepreneurs can minimize issues and optimize performance by avoiding some of the following pitfalls.

  1. Failing to Delegate: It's very common for entrepreneurs to maintain a firm hold on critical issues that directly affect a company's survival. All too often, however, new business owners obsess over issues better left to subordinates. Free up your time and empower your workers by delegating whenever possible.

  2. Imbalanced Cultures: It's important to establish professional expectations and structured rules for everyone at your company. When entrepreneurs play favorites, resentment takes root and morale suffers.

  3. Hiring Too Quickly: Sometimes, new companies begin growing right out of the gate. When this happens, entrepreneurs often engage in hasty hiring practices. Be sure to wait a while to see if you will actually need added employees and always take the time to vet applicants before making a hire.

  4. Poor Communications: You may be the brains behind your operation; however, your workers may understand daily operational challenges and obstacles even better. Get feedback from your employees to learn how you might be able to improve things for both them and your company.

  5. Failing to Provide Feedback: Just because you have a brilliant business idea doesn't mean you're great at confrontations. Running a business isn't just about having a great product or service. You must roll up your sleeves and confront employees when they aren't living up to expectations. Be sure to stay professional and provide them with the feedback they need to improve. If they continue to disappoint, don't be afraid to make a replacement for the good of your company.

Walking the Walk

All the inspiring talks in the world won't make much difference if you fail to lead by example. Good managers pave a clear path for their subordinates by adhering to the same rules and expectations. It's important for entrepreneurs to maintain a professional, hands-on role in a new company, so workers can see what success should look like.