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Surprising Yet Common Executive Pitfalls, Part I
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Surprising Yet Common Executive Pitfalls, Part I - Executive Leadership Articles

Surprising Yet Common Executive Pitfalls, Part I

Executive Leadership Articles

Surprising Yet Common Executive Pitfalls, Part I

In the business world, oftentimes Executive Leaders are promoted to positions of authority and power through less traditional routes. It is becoming more and more common to see younger, successful men and women advancing quickly through companies on the strength of their ideas, innovative and cutting-edge solutions, educational background, and professional networking skills, rather than veteran executives who have invested decades into a particular company and slowly grown their authority, skillset, industry knowledge, and experience. For those ‘whiz kid’ managers who are catapulted to executive-level positions seemingly overnight or who transition from another industry into an executive role, the things that a more seasoned professional may have learned along the ladder to success can often prove unfamiliar and anything but second nature. Here’s a quick cheat sheet of 2 surprising, yet common pitfalls plaguing many of today’s Executive Leaders—and how to avoid them!

  • Stage Fright: While many Executive Leaders find that public speaking comes naturally to them, there remains an equally large number of those who share in the average person’s reluctance to address audiences. However, being the object of attention comes with an executive’s job description and, especially for young executives, it is imperative that you learn how to master your fear of stage fright and present yourself as a capable, unflappable member of the executive team. How can you overcome stage fright? Toastmasters is always a common remedy. It will force you to speak in public in a supportive atmosphere and through repetition the fear will often fade away. Another solution, if you prefer more one-on-one training, would be to hire a speaking coach. Many firms that offer Executive Coaching and Leadership Training and Development services often include professional speaking as part of the package or an a la carte item. Even if you are a manager who is not required to speak in public, if the CEO ever asks you to fill in for someone else or simply wants to see if you have this skill, being able to respond in the affirmative (with confidence) will only contribute to your upward mobility.
  • “I Hate to Delegate”: Let’s face it. At the end of the day, a manager is responsible for his team’s work and deliverables, and is held accountable for both his performance and theirs. It’s only natural that a manager would want to maintain tight control over every facet of operations to ensure that every member of his team is functioning efficiently and adhering to deadlines—after all, his own neck is on the line. However, while it is important that an executive does possess an understanding of where each staff member is on major projects, if he has hired capable people with solid skillsets it’s unnecessary to scrutinize every email and step in the process to project completion. A fine line exists between managing and micromanaging, and the latter only leads to frustration and slow progress because every little decision and step must be approved first. Do yourself and your team a favor: resist micromanaging. If you do, the results may pleasantly surprise you.

Stay tuned for Part II of “Surprising (Yet Common) Executive Pitfalls” to learn how to avoid our last two—but most popular—executive traps.


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