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Being an effective and respected leader is both an honor and a challenge.You are held to a higher standard than most people (at least by individuals employed throughout your organization). And, unfortunately, the difference between what distinguishes regular corporate executives from admired and trusted leaders comes down to very specific characteristic traits and habits. As they say, the devil is in the details.

When it comes to refining your leadership skills and ensuring you are the type of person people will actually listen to and trust, you need to do some honest self-assessing. No one likes admitting that they have made a mistake. But being able to identify your weaknesses and take corrective action in improving them can significantly transform the type of leader you are, both in your personal and professional life.

So, what are some of the most common mistakes people in positions of power make? Let's take a look.

"Being able to admit and correct your mistakes will transform the type of leader you are."

Mistake #1: Letting your ego get the best of you
It takes a certain level of confidence to be a truly great leader. But there is a huge difference between a strong, confident person and an ego-maniac. It is certainly difficult to trust someone to lead you in the right direction if it is clear that they are insecure and constantly questioning their own choices. However, it can be just as damaging to let your corporate title blow your head up so big that you forget you're not perfect. Operating with a stubborn mindset and air of superiority can easily make others feel alienated and can cause them to resent you.

Mistake #2: Not clearly communicating with your employees
According to research gathered by the Harvard Business Review, workers want their leaders to communicate honestly and openly with them. As human beings, we innately crave deep and meaningful connections with those around us and, as the source pointed out, "from a neuroscience perspective, creating connection is a leader's second most important job."

But it is extremely difficult, if not altogether impossible, to do this with your team unless you are communicating on a regular basis. Communication skills are critical when it comes to effective leadership because you need to be able to let people know exactly what is expected of them. By being transparent and implementing an open-door policy, you can also gain the trust of your followers. Workers want to know what is going on in the organization they work for, so you should try your best to keep them in the know.

Mistake #3: Not trusting employees
There are many issues with leaders who are suspicious about the people who work for him or her – one of the biggest ones being the tendency to micromanage. If you hire people who are highly trained and competent, there's no reason why you should have to oversee everything they do.

A pillar of successful leadership is mutual trust.A pillar of successful leadership is mutual trust.

By taking a step back and having the confidence in your employees to make the right decisions and executive their job responsibilities properly, you are helping both them and yourself. Workers will appreciate that you trust them enough to give them a little breathing space and you will be able to focus more on other crucial areas of business.

Mistake #4: Not prioritizing learning and development
Employees want to know that the business they are working for genuinely cares about them. Similarly, no one wants to feel stuck in their job. This is why leaders should make education and training programs a core aspect of the corporate culture. This idea was further expanded upon by the Harvard Business Review study, which found that a critical competency workers want in leaders is a commitment to their ongoing training, as well as the willingness to help them "grow into a next-generation leader."

If you show that you genuinely care about them and want to promote their growth, your employees won't be able to help but feel grateful and loyal to you.

"Take a moment to appreciate and applaud what is going right, rather than what could be better."

Mistake #5: Overlooking the small victories
As a corporate leader, you have a million things on your mind at any given moment. You are stretched thin, and sometimes it can be really difficult to pay attention to what is going right, rather than obsessing about what needs to be better. However, it is essential that you remember to take the time to acknowledge your employees for their accomplishments. The O.C. Tanner Institute revealed that, when asked about what company managers and execs could be doing to motivate them to do better work, the majority of respondents answered: "recognize me."

It doesn't have to be a grand gesture. Simply thanking them for a job well done can do wonders for worker satisfaction levels. People want to be praised, especially the millennial generation. And it takes almost nothing for you to give them that little stamp of approval whenever and wherever you can.