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Executive Habits Holding You Back, Part I
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Executive Habits Holding You Back, Part I - Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Habits Holding You Back, Part I

Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Habits Holding You Back, Part I

The right executive leader can make or break a company. Everything from staff performance to client relationships to product success can hinge upon a leader’s direction and vision. Executives must therefore be on top of their professional game at all times and ensure that they are both setting a good example for their staff and conducting themselves in a manner that will reflect well upon the company and themselves. However, while many executives do keep this in mind, they sometimes develop habits that (while well-meaning) do not reflect positively upon their company in the long run. Here are two common executive habits that might be holding you back:

  • 1. Overpromising and under-delivering, i.e. making well-meaning promises that your company does not have the bandwidth to keep: Often in their zeal to secure clients and present themselves as the men or women who can do all and be all things to all people, executive leaders sometimes fall into the trap of overpromising and, in the end, under-delivering. While you do want to be seen as the person who can tackle any issue and provide any service, you must also weigh this against your company’s true capacity, staff bandwidth, and limitations. Make a habit of saying yes only to the requests that you can strategically handle and have the confidence to turn down those you will be unable to fulfill. Possessing a practical understanding of your limitations ensures that your company’s reputation (and yours) remains flawless. After all, you can always work toward developing ways to grow your capacity and bandwidth in order to take advantage of opportunities in the future. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, while accepting all requests does look good during that moment, you will still be responsible for fulfilling them…and clients and business associates always remember when you do not.
  • 2. Accepting all business event invitations: Everyone likes to be valued. Receiving a business invitation reinforces our feelings of being well-liked and respected by our peers and business associates within our network. Attending events can lead to an increase in networking, sales, brand recognition, and referrals. However, while you should indeed view invitations as highly positive, if you receive dozens of invitations each month you must also be sure to take the time to weigh the benefits of each event, especially if it draws you out of the office for majority of your time and keeps you inaccessible to your staff. If you are an executive with a larger company and a management team in place, this will be less of an issue than if you head a small business where your day-to-day decisions are necessary to keep your company moving forward. If you fall into the latter category, be sure to evaluate each event’s benefits and leave some time to oversee your company’s continuing success.

Whether you find yourself engaging in these two common executive habits or steering clear, it is important to keep in mind that you are the vision and force behind your company’s achievements. Like any professional in the workforce today, looking for ways to improve yourself and hone your approach to business will only increase your success and deepen others’ respect for your professionalism, ability to deliver on your promises, and your expert management of both business opportunities and your staff.


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