Which efficiency mistake do you most commonly see leaders make?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 220,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

Which efficiency mistake do you most commonly see leaders make?

  • Spreading their time evenly across people (peanut butter approach): 5.1%
  • Taking the path of least resistance and avoiding issues: 36.3%
  • Being reactive and dealing with issues as they arise: 54.8%
  • Most leaders I know are pretty efficient: 3.8%

SWAP OUT ANALYSIS Roll up the sleeves. Getting out of the “leader” role and into the “team member” role has many benefits. It brings you closer to your people, helps you understand and appreciate the work they do and it can be rewarding. If it’s been a while since you’ve worked side by side with the team, make a point of scheduling time to do so. Put reminders on your calendar so it happens more frequently than a few times a year. Stepping out of the leader role is easier to do than you might think.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."