5 signs you need to step down as a leader

12th May 2017
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Every leader should instinctually know when it is time to step down. A lot of leaders let their ego get in the way of seeing things clearly. However, if you don't allow your ego to cloud your decision, you will realise that stepping down when some things are not in our favor is actually a good judgment call. Sometimes, leaders need to step down even though there is nothing wrong with their leadership skills. If your work is getting too toxic or you want to move on to a better position, you need to forego your leadership role for something better. Here are five signs to indicate you need to step down as a leader:

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The stress is getting the better of you

There are two kinds of stress – the kind of stress that motivates you to do better and the kind of stress that kills you. You need to identify which kind of stress you're dealing with. The latter has the ability to physically and mentally exert you. When you realise that your stress is harming your team's performance as well as your personal life, you need to step down before it completely destroys you.

You can't give your leadership role the focus it deserves

Leadership is a time-consuming position. If you can't give all you have to it, it is best to step down. Leadership requires keen awareness of the behavior of those around you, recognising who needs motivation and direction, and knowing who is doing what and why. If you have other things professionally and personally that require your attention, it is smart to step down before you do more harm than good.

You don't possess the skills to be a good leader

Sure, you're amazing at your work. But just because you are good at what you do, it doesn't mean that you are a good leader too. As a leader, you should ask your team to point out your weaknesses and you should try to better yourself. However, some deficits can't be overcome, and when those deficits can hurt the entire team's morale, it is best to step down.

Someone else is a better fit than you

There will come a time when you will have been in the leadership position for a long period and you'll stop innovating and learning new things. If you think that your position has made you complacent, you should hand over the reins to someone else. When you are no longer challenged by your responsibilities, it is time to look for your successor.

There is no more scope for growth

Have you reached the top of the field in your department with no more room to grow? If you feel like you've already learned all there is to learn, you need to consider switching fields to motivate yourself once again. If not, you'll be stuck in a dead-end job until you retire.

Before you step down, make sure you train someone capable under you by delegating new responsibilities to them. This way, when you finally step down, you'll still be respected by your company's management as well as your team members.

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