Three Short-Sighted Behaviors All Effective Leaders Should Avoid

Short-sighted Short-cuts Lead to Dead Ends

The desire for instant gratification can be tempting, leading one to seek opportunities to cut corners to achieve faster results. And while the initial perception of saving time and money is promising, the end result is a continuous cycle of bad decisions, uncompleted projects, and lack of trust from others.

Without proper foresight, taking short-cuts in life will lead to a dead end. As leaders, we can avoid this dilemma by steering clear of the three short-sided behaviors below.

Short-sided Behavior #1: Ignoring the Bigger Picture

Often times we rush into projects without taking an opportunity to understand what it will take to accomplish the task.

Map it out by asking three simple questions up front:

1. Identify scope: what needs to be accomplish?
2. Identify timelines: when does it need to be accomplished?
3. Identify resources: what will it take to accomplish it?

These three simple questions will help define a plan where the scope, timelines, and resources are levers that can be adjusted to ensure you have a higher chance of success.

Short-sided Behavior #2: Ignoring the Risks

Regardless of a project’s size, there will always be factors outside of our control impacting the most well-crafted plan.

Often times we fall into the mindset trap of “we will tackle that problem when we encounter it” which leads to reckless decision-making as a project’s timeline matures.

Map it out by asking this one question: “What would it take for my project to fail?”.

By taking time to identify the obvious risks up front, you can define various mitigation strategies before the project starts, increasing overall confidence.

Short-sided Behavior #3: Ignoring Sound Advice from Others

Taking advice from others can be a humbling experience. It’s easy to disregard information if we are not open to receiving it. If you’ve heard phrases like, “I won’t make the same mistakes as that person.” or “I know what I’m doing, don’t worry.”, this line of thinking tends to lead to a “do it on my own” mentality which is the quickest path to failure.

Map it out by seeking and learning from others, especially if they have personal experience dealing with a similar project or challenge. Their wisdom and guidance could be your secret weapon towards success.

The Power of Planning

A little up front planning can go a long way in navigating your path towards success. While it might not be the fastest route, it will help you avoid the pitfalls of rework and ignoring preventable failures along the way. 

Remember to follow these three simple rules to reduce short-sighted thinking:

1. Understand the bigger picture so the vision is clear on what needs to be accomplished.
2. Understand your risks up front and develop mitigation plans accordingly.
3. Understand the pitfalls of others to help prevent you from making the same mistakes.

The Practical Leadership Guy

Claude Jones is a seasoned leader with a reputation for building and leading teams that outperform expectations and delivers exceptional results. He has a passion for bringing out the best in others and believes that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.