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Some of the best lessons I teach in our EntreLeadership Master Series are culled from mistakes. My mistakes. I messed up, the mistake caused us pain, and I vowed never to make that mistake again. Easier said than done sometimes, right? But smart leaders do learn from their mistakes. Sure, it’s always easier to learn from the mistakes of others, but messing up once in a while is inevitable.
With that in mind, here are a few of what I’ve found to be some of the most common leadership mistakes—and how to fix them.
Don’t let fear paralyze you
Fear can be a motivator that makes you stop and think before making crucial decisions. A small amount of fear is a healthy, but when it paralyzes you, it becomes a big problem.
How do you get past this kind of fear? First, recognize the possibility that these fears could be well-founded. Some decisions could cause you to lose money, customers or even team members. Still, you can’t let vague possibilities drive and control the decision-making process. Instead of wasting time worrying, carefully devise a plan that directly addresses your concerns in detail. Set a deadline, gather facts and devise options based on worst-case scenarios.
Take your time
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is hiring personnel too quickly. In many cases this creates even more problems, because you’ll find yourself in the unenviable position of having to hire for the same position all over again and all too soon.
At my company, we run people through the gauntlet before they’re hired. This includes multiple interviews, a personality test and a meet-the-spouse interview. Take the time needed to find that perfect person for the job. It’s worth it to make sure you get the right people on the bus the first time.
Step back, and let them fly
That company is your baby. No one can do things better than you, right?
Wrong.
To grow bigger and stronger, a company—and its team members—must be allowed to stretch its wings. And that means letting go.
Trust your team members. Once they’ve shown they’ve got what it takes, step back and let them fly … even if it makes you nervous. People can’t perform up to their fullest potential when they’re constantly being micromanaged.
There are more mistakes you’ll discover on your own. Don’t let them hold you back. The knowledge you’ll gain will become the foundation that helps you and your business thrive!
Leadership and small business expert Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored numerous best-selling books, including EntreLeadership. The Ramsey Show is heard by 18 million listeners each week on more than 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms.


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