7 Miserable Mistakes Managers Make

 In Business Success, Coaching, leadership, Leadership Development, leadership training, Leadership trust, management

Managers have many things in common – and some of those “things” happen to be the miserable mistakes they make. This list does not cover every mistake, but it tackles seven that will readily inhibit or derail a career. Above all, they sabotage employee performance, engagement, and retention.

 4 Miserable Mistakes

Relying on the position to give you power

7 Miserable Mistakes Managers MakeA management promotion gives you the title to do a job, but that is just the beginning. Not all managers are leaders, and not all leaders are managers. You must earn the title to reach exceptional results with your team. So, listen to employee concerns or ideas. Work at building credibility and rapport. Seek feedback along the way, and develop yourself as a leader. This is called using personal power. Managers wield position power by dictating to and commanding others. This most often creates resentment and fear. Your team will have a hard time respecting you if you do not do a good job of helping your team buy-in to your approach. If they do not trust you, they will not go the extra mile for you. And they will leave you.

Acting on assumptions

Can you read minds? No. Can your team? No. Despite these two answers, you would be amazed at how often managers mistakenly think their teams know what they want. Plus, how often managers make assumptions regarding their teams’ true feelings about them or their plans. Here are three things managers must do to avoid mind-reading efforts:

Open communication causes employee engagement and retention to soar. Good communication is the language of effective leadership. Without it, life at work can quickly become miserable.

7 Miserable Mistakes Managers MakeLeading without an example

Most of the time, leaders have no problem telling others what to do and what to change. However, the miserable mistake they make is they may master “talking the talk”, but they fail to master “walking the walk.” Great managers lead by example; they do not ask or expect their teams to do anything they are not willing to do themselves. Furthermore, as Nelson Mandela declared, they “lead from the back.” Therefore, they uplift, recognize, and reward their teams for progress and success.

Ridding the workplace of fun

Sometimes managers get such tunnel vision that they forgo all fun in an effort to achieve results. This is a dangerous managing mentality driven by a huge misunderstanding. Having fun does not interfere with achieving success, unless it is not clear which effort is the priority. So once again, clarify your goals, but do not compromise fun in the process. Ensuring the workplace environment is enjoyable to your team members is worth your time because they will want to be there. So, bring lunch in, go out together for a meal or ballgame. Do a contest or decorate the workplace. Develop a sense of humor. When done genuinely, your team will perform better.

3 More Miserable Mistakes

Getting comfortable

For example, let us say you achieve your organizational goals, and make your customers happy this month or quarter – then what? Well, mediocre managers would leave it at that and call it a great day! Wow! What a miserable mistake. Great managers keep at it – their commitment to continual improvement overrides their opportunity to get complacent. As a result, do not stop with success; celebrate and praise and then press on. Peter Drucker said, “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”

Forgetting the importance of the team

Many managers play office politics to look good or to get a promotion. While there is nothing wrong about wanting to get ahead, too many managers do it at the expense of their teams. However, selfish ambition alienates employees. Focus on helping your team win and you will win. A manager’s success depends on their team’s success. (See this training video: The First and Only Rule of Leadership)

7 Miserable Mistakes Managers MakeSinking into a malaise

Why is this a miserable mistake? Managers that do not keep on learning and trying new things become boring, lazy, and mediocre. Instead, they do everything the same way month after month if not year after year. Look, in this fast-paced world and marketplace, anyone can be left behind quickly if they are not continuously learning. The best managers and companies give their employees sixty plus hours of training per year. In addition, they jump in as well.

Pulling It All Together

In summary, apply yourself to do better in these areas. It is a process of improvement, not a one-time event. Focus on helping your team win, and learning how to be the best leader you can be. An amazing thing will happen. You will overcome these miserable mistakes. Furthermore, progress, success, and achievement follows. This means you establish an enduring trust with your team.

7 Miserable Mistakes Managers MakeAlso, do you want to learn proven approaches for becoming a better leader and increasing employee engagement? If so, I suggest you check out this complimentary resource: How to Motivate-No-Inspire People eBook.

In addition, check out this dynamic online training: Superstar Leadership Training.

Finally, see my latest book, click here: The 5 Dynamics of Servant Leadership.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Reese Evans

    The mistakes that are described above are not acceptable if the company is at the peak of success or in a crucial time. Because every time you will be treated as outside of the fields.

    • Rick Conlow

      Thanks for the comment, Reese. These mistakes not only hurt a company and make you negatively stick out, but they also destroy employee morale, engagement, and productivity. Any manager must continually seek to improve to be effective or to accelerate her/his career.

    • Rick Conlow

      Hi Reese:
      The Great Resignation is upon us because of organizations and managers that do not listen or treat employees as peons. Therefore, toxic workplaces prevail. Companies and leaders that proactively build highly engaged cultures will gain the best employees and prosper. Thanks for the sharing.

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