search cancel

8 Early Mistakes That Will Turn You Into A Better Leader

What is one mistake you made early on as the “boss” of your business that’s helped you become a better leader, and why?



1. Thinking Everyone Had the Same Thought Process

Kim Kaupe“A mistake I made early on was thinking that our employees had the same thought processes and learning tactics that I did. Explaining something, walking away and expecting them to execute the task as I saw it in my head proved unrealistic. Now, I ask employees to tell me what the end result will be or explain the process so I can figure out if we are on the same page.”





2. Not Firing 6s Fast Enough

Derek Flanzraich“Employing 6s at a startup can sink your business. It sounds rough, but good employees — when you need great ones — bring everyone down with them. The scary thing is when you don’t notice or act on it fast enough. I made that mistake early on, and I continue to work at not making it again.”






3. Hiring on Work Before Values

chuck longanecker“An early mistake I made was hiring people based on their work first and their core values second. Hiring people who believe in our principles above anything else is now crucial to how we hire today. Employees have to believe in our core values before working here, regardless of their portfolios or Rolodex.”


-CHUCK LONGANECKER, digital-telepathy




4. Not Focusing on Employee Development

mitch-gordon“Good employees want to grow both the business and their professional skill set. As a business owner, you need to ensure that staff feel they have room to expand their knowledge base. The best employees will always look elsewhere once they feel they have reached their ceiling at your company. Plus, if an employee isn’t hungry for development, is he the “A+” employee a startup needs to succeed?”





5. Failing to Let Employees to Do Things Their Way

gagan02051115003417969“Your employees want to impress you and build a great company, so they frequently have a unique set of anxieties and concerns. In the early days, remember to stay patient and let your employees do things their way. Oftentimes, you’ll find that their way was a hell of a lot better than your way — that’s why you hired them in the first place!”


-GAGAN BIYANI, Growth Hackers Conference



6. Trying to Overextend Employees’ Skills

David Ehrenberg“Early on, I tried to have my CFOs help me with business development. I quickly recognized that these finance professionals were great at what they did, but they were not salespeople. This taught me that you have to build out your team, allowing team members to focus on what they do best. Don’t try to get your employees to overextend themselves when they are not in a good position to do so.”


-DAVID EHRENBERG, Early Growth Financial Services



7. Hiring Friends

Nick Friedman“Early on, I hired friends because I didn’t know any better. They turned out to be unreliable, often showing up late because they knew I couldn’t get too mad at them. It resulted in poor job performance and dissatisfied clients. I learned that you can only hire friends who agree with you on the importance of building the brand. Otherwise, just be friends outside of work.”


-NICK FRIEDMAN, College Hunks Hauling Junk



8. Resisting Delegation

Robert-J.-Moore“I took too long to remove myself from day-to-day tactical responsibilities. I had to learn the true responsibilities of the CEO and focus on high-leverage uses of my time.”






Photo Credits

StartupCollective | whatleydude



Author : Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Share This Post On