Leadership Ineffectiveness: 5 Common Managing Mistakes
Bad managers have many things in common – and most of those “things” happen to be the common mistakes they make. This list doesn’t cover every mistake, but it tackles five that are worth avoiding.
1. Relying on your promotion to give you power.
Getting promoted to a management position gives you the title to do your job, but it’s your responsibility to get the tools to do your job. So, what are you actively doing to learn the ropes, seek feedback along the way, and develop yourself as a manager? Your team will have a hard time respecting you if you don’t do the job your entrusted to do.
2. Acting on assumptions.
Can you read minds? No. Can your team? No. Despite these two answers, you’d be amazed at how often managers assume their teams know what they want – and how often managers make assumptions regarding their teams’ true feelings about them. Two things that managers must do to avoid mind-reading efforts: 1) Clearly communicate goals and expectations – do not assume your teams know these. 2) Directly request feedback from team members – you cannot expect your team to be candid with you if you don’t invite them to share their insights. Communication is critical.
3. Leading without example.
Most of the time, leaders have no problem telling others what to do and what to change – but the mistake they make is they master “talking the talk,” but they fail to “walk the walk.” Great managers lead by example; they don’t ask or expect their teams to do anything they aren’t willing to do themselves.
4. Ridding the workplace of fun.
Sometimes managers get such tunnel vision that they forgo all fun in an effort to get serious about success. This is a dangerous managing mentality that’s driven by a huge misunderstanding. Having fun doesn’t interfere with driving success, unless it’s not clear which effort is the priority. So once again, refer to #2 and clarify your goals, but don’t compromise fun in the process – ensuring the workplace environment is enjoyable to your team members is worth your time.
5. Getting comfortable.
Let’s say you achieve your goal, accomplish your vision and deliver results – then what? Well, mediocre managers would leave it at that and call it a great day! But great managers would keep at it – their commitment to continual improvement would override their opportunity to get complacent. Don’t stop with success!