3 leadership habits that might be killing your business

Did you know that 96 per cent of businesses fail within 10 years? That’s nine out of ten entrepreneurial dreams dead, gone and buried.

So what do the other four per cent do differently? Let’s take a look at Ed Mylett, who’s one of the best business leaders, peak performance experts, and motivational speakers in the world. Ed has a passion for mentoring and coaching others on what it takes to become a champion in all areas of life.

While many leaders and speakers just “talk the talk”, Ed built one of the most prolific financial services (World Financial Group) businesses the world has ever seen. Ed has had many obstacles while building his massive empire, and he’s shared some of this in his interviews.

Of course, there are many reasons that a business might fail. Perhaps the business’ profit margin didn’t make sense or perhaps the product’s release was badly timed.

But what do the four percenters like Ed do differently?

In almost every failing business you can tie the cause back to failure in leadership.

Maybe the leader didn’t anticipate market changes. Maybe they didn’t encourage their employees enough. Or maybe they got caught up in vanity metrics.

Whatever the reason, businesses fail because leaders fail.

Here are three leadership habits that might be killing your business right now.

Avoiding authentic relationships with your employees

Not building authentic employer-employee relationships is a very real temptation for many business leaders. After all, it seems like if a leader doesn’t have meaningful relationships with their workers, then disciplining, correcting, and even firing those workers is a whole lot easier.

While there might be some truth to that, avoiding authentic relationships will definitely hurt your business in other terrible ways.

Ed Mylett said, “The worst leadership advice I’ve ever heard is ‘Don’t get too close to your people.’  This is a recipe for complete disaster and a breakdown of morale and performance.”

The most important thing we can do is get to know our people better. The closer we get to them and the more we build a common mission, vision, and friendship, the more we can accomplish great things together and harness the power of momentum.”

On the other hand, if you don’t build meaningful relationships with your employees, then not only will that increase your turnover rate, it will hurt employee engagement and productivity and threaten the very success of your business.

Having greater expectations for your employees than you do for yourself

To grow your business, you have to help your employees become the best versions of themselves they can possibly become. And if you want to run an exceptional business, you need exceptional people.

When running his companies, Ed Mylett expects honesty and hard work from those around him, not only because it’s important to his core values, but because it will benefit them.

This means that you should consistently challenge the excellence of your employees’ production.

However, that demand for excellence can get out of hand — especially when you’re not holding yourself to similar standards.

Trevor Mauch, the CEO of Carrot, said, “To me, the worst habit a leader can have is not recognising that your company can only grow as much as you — the leader — grow. If your company is growing financially and you’re bringing on more employees, but you haven’t invested in your own growth as a leader, then the company could outgrow your leadership abilities.” He continued, “Ignoring your own growth as a leader could kill your company, pollute your culture, and drive away your best team members.”

Nothing will create a bitter taste in your company’s culture — or completely destroy your business — faster than asking your employees to go somewhere that you’re not willing to go.

Isolating yourself from other leaders and departments

When performance ratings come knocking, when bonuses are on the cusp of being dished out, or when your business expands to new areas, ducking down with your team at the grindstone isn’t just common, it’s necessary.

Every successful entrepreneur or leader knows his employees all play roles in their workplaces, many of which are different from one another. They know there’s some who will succeed and the ones who will fail. However, they know a huge tattletale to a failing leader is one who chooses to be alone.

Ed Mylett understands that one of the worst mistakes within large organizations is when the leaders break off into silos and work independently of each other. This creates a work culture where teams are compartmentalized and one department has no idea what the other department is doing. On the other hand, when teams and leaders are lifting each other up together, it drives change, differentiation, and massive growth within an organization.

There’s a time to duck your head and focus on production. But for the better part of the year, you should be strategizing with other team leaders to create synergy around the same goal and company mission.

If you don’t, that isolation between leaders will either hurt your business’ potential or outright destroy it.