Biggest Leadership Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make And How To Avoid Them

Being a leader takes work, courage, and humility. Whether you are a new entrepreneur in your business's early start-up stages or already running a large successful company, your leadership skills should be continually evolving. You deserve to enjoy the benefits that come with being a leader. But sometimes, it’s challenging to live up to the expectations of others. And the reality is that no matter how much experience you have, there will be times you make mistakes. 

As a leader, even small mistakes can jeopardize your relationship with your team and your image. However, if you use the right strategy to fix your errors, recovering from them becomes much more manageable.

Common Leadership Mistakes

 "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas A. Edison

  1. Not Listening To Your Team. How did you get to where you are? You undoubtedly did not do it on your own. Avoid forgetting the support team that helped you along the way. It's essential to value the opinions and ideas of every member of your team. 
  • Encourage Ideas. As a leader, showing continued belief in the team makes it easier to gain and keep their trust. A great leader prioritizes making sure that their team feels heard and understood. Praise innovative ideas and give gratitude for constructive criticism. 
  • Even if an idea isn’t popular or feasible, thank the team members for their input. Remind them that one idea sparks more ideas. 
  1. Arrogance. The road to building a successful business is full of obstacles. Once your company has achieved a modicum of success, it's easy to start feeling a bit arrogant. However, avoid getting into that mode as much as possible.
  • Remember how you got here and all the people who supported you along the way.
  • Pay attention to your performance metrics. What's required for you to maintain your position?
  • Remain humble and committed to self-improvement. Forgive yourself for your mistakes but always strive to do better. 
  1. Lack of communication. Keeping the lines of communication open and encouraging open communication are the best ways to lead effectively. Every person on your team should feel like their voice is heard and their opinion matters. Create a culture where open dialog and communication are encouraged and rewarded from the top down. 


  • Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, keep your team members engaged and informed. 
  • Schedule regular meetings with your team. Avoid having meetings only when there's an issue at hand. Team members like to feel connected with what's going on. Praise effort and encourage learning opportunities from mistakes.
  • Foster an environment where your team members feel comfortable approaching you. Allow them to feel like you want to hear from them no matter what their feedback might be. Great leaders ensure that their entire team feels like they are easily approachable. Make yourself accessible, and your team will trust and support you. 
  1. Lack Of Gratitude. It’s essential to recognize the input of each team member and thank them for their contribution. This is the best way to ensure commitment and dedication to you as their leader. Remember that your team is as strong as its weakest link so show gratitude and appreciation for your team members who are demonstrating integrity, work ethic, leadership qualities, and innovative ideas.
  • Of course, you can enjoy the recognition garnered from leading a successful team. However, it's imperative to share that recognition with the team members who support and rely on you. 
  • Provide individual recognition for a job well done and make sure that your team feels appreciated for their hard work. 
  • Use a group forum to recognize the contributions of specific team members. This allows them to feel worthwhile and gain the respect of their peers. Send out weekly thank you memos to recognize teams and individuals who went above and beyond.
  1. Avoiding difficult conversations. Leadership isn’t easy. There are difficulties that you may have to face from time to time. The worst thing you can do is shy away from the tough decisions and responsibilities. Put on a brave face and show why you were chosen to lead in the first place.
  • Is a team member not performing? Schedule a meeting and discuss your expectations. Offer assistance and find out whether there are issues that need to be addressed contributing to poor performance. 
  • Remember that you are in a leadership role for a reason. Always keep that reason at the forefront of your mind. Live up to the expectations of others and do what’s expected.


If this is your first leadership role, remember that great leaders are made, not born. No two days are the same, and each experience requires a different approach. Avoid these leadership mistakes and equip yourself to lead successfully. When you are struggling, make sure to talk to a peer, mentor, or coach. Remember, leadership is a journey. 


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