How to avoid two bad habits of leaders

Elizabeth Freedman, Principal at Bates, a Boston-based management consulting firm, writes in a recent Forbes article about two bad habits that she has observed with many leaders: the habit of hiding and the habit of drifting.

The leaders that hide are being described as unwilling to raise concerns in a group setting and reluctant to challenge up. They spend considerable time in their offices and prioritize getting stuff done over building relationships, Freedman writes. This type of leader often pretends to agree with something when in fact they aren’t, rather use email instead of having a conversation and avoid or delay making tough decisions. This can even lead to sending other people to deliver tough messages.

Drifting is an even bigger danger for many leaders who in general are pulled into many different directions. They start to drift away from essential key areas and instead, put too much time and energy into areas that don’t create value. “Do that too often, you lose momentum and waste days or weeks with nothing to show for it,” Freeman writes. The problem starts when minor issues and topics take over like answering every email, sitting in on non-essential meetings etc.

Freedman’s step-by-step methods how leaders can improve on their bad habits are to build more focus into every single day and week, to actively pay attention not to please everyone and say “yes” too often and to cut time responding to email in half.

The three top tips that Ambitionet identified amongst Freedman’s advice for improvement are:

  • Identify three top priorities each week and take action each day to advance.
  • Get discipline over your distractions: use your phone for purpose, not for scrolling.

Identify decisions to make now and just make them.



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