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In a world where your best is often considered not good enough, making a simple mistake can be overwhelming. While everyone is prone to human fallibility, those in a position of power are often held to such high standards that it becomes difficult to remember that, yes, even great leaders can make mistakes. But in the end, the key difference between the best leaders and everyone else is the ability to recognize, acknowledge, and learn from their mistakes.

1. Leave Your Ego at the Door

Whether you’re an executive of a large corporation or the manager of a store in a local mall, isolating yourself behind your office door, communicating solely through email and memos is sure to draw the ire from those working in the trenches. Great leaders know that this habit is a detriment to both a happy and productive environment; it’s hard to earn the support of your team when your time is spent delegating but not actually contributing. The best leaders know this. They’re out there, working side by side with their team to tackle the tough problems and encourage them to work their hardest. They know where they came from, and through the haze of a padded bank account and corner office, they haven’t forgotten that.

2. You Don’t Need to Know the Future, But You Need to Have a Plan

One of the biggest roadblocks preventing great leaders from achieving their true potential is a lack of vision. Having a plan for the future and possessing the ability to effectively communicate this to your team is a hallmark of a great leader, even in spite of the many challenges they will inevitably face. As such, they take risks in spite of the chances for failure. The best leaders will see these mistakes as opportunities for success, learning and growing with each passing day to ensure that history will remember them as a person with integrity and humility.

3. Lift the Wool Over Your Eyes

Have your team members become complacent? Are they being over overworked and thus getting burnt out? This goes part and parcel with point number one, as the best leaders are aware of everything that’s happening with their team and thus capable of acting appropriately should the need arise. Without an understanding of the team’s dynamic and their day-to-day routines, you run the risk of missing an easily corrected problem that can lead to dissatisfied employees, which can in turn lead to issues with employee retention and reputation.

4. Great Leaders Invest in Both Their Team and Themselves

When in a position of power, it’s not difficult to become lost in the responsibility and forget that everyone needs some time away from the office to recharge the batteries. We’re all human, and whether at the top of the ladder or somewhere toward the bottom, the stress and hardships of life affect us all equally and can often lead to grievous issues down the line. Great leaders recognize this, and thus know when it’s time to take a step back dig their toes into the sand, and simply decompress away from the office for a few days.

Conversely, the best leaders know when to knuckle down and learn from others. Webinars, conferences, or simply meeting with fellow leaders and team members at a local watering hole are all great ways to continually improve while spending some much needed time away from the office. This compels you to not just grow as a person but as a leader, and thus affords you the opportunity to discover new strategies and gain new insight that will only serve to benefit everyone in the long run.

Becoming a great leader takes time, effort, and more importantly, a little bit of self awareness. By taking the time to become aware of these common mistakes, a good leader can grow into a great leader. This in turn will lead to satisfied employees and the ability to attract quality talent.

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