You're climbing the corporate ladder. You've just landed your dream job or maybe you've been tagged for that management position you've been angling for. You're anxious to impress your boss with your leadership capabilities and earn your colleagues' respect. This is the opportunity that could send your career skyrocketing!
So what's the catch? Many new managers make the mistake of assuming that their previous work habits will continue to gain them success in their new position. It's a common mistake says Michael Watkins, a former Harvard Business School professor and author of The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders At All Levels. In fact, though managers come from different backgrounds and possess different characteristics, they often make the same common mistakes.
Top 10 Management Mistakes
- Rigid policies. While policies need to be followed, some flexibility must be afforded employees and customers, particularly in small companies. Before you act, weigh the importance of the policy against the good will of a loyal customer or employee.
- Lack of communication. Communication is the key to being a good manager. Employees need to know what is expected of them and when projects or tasks are due.
- Failing to listen. A good manager listens to what his employees have to say and hears the needs and concerns behind the words.
- My way or the highway. A good manager doesn't try to solve every problem or pretend he has every answer. He knows when to seek help and realizes that there's more than one way to accomplish a task.
- The half empty glass. Don't always focus on what went wrong. Recognizing achievements and employee accomplishments builds morale and creates a positive work environment.
- The buck stops here. As a manager, you can't delegate blame. If you're in charge, you're responsible for the actions of the employees you manage.
- Favoritism. Showing favoritism is a fast track to poor morale. You lose credibility and the respect of your team when you play favorites.
- Just do it. You can't expect your team to blindly plow ahead if they don't understand the project. Take time to explain the project and how it fits into the larger plan. A team that is invested in a project will work harder and produce better results.
- Too much technology. Don't hide behind emails. You must embrace and practice your people skills too.
- Never change. In the rapidly changing business environment, you must be open to change. There is a place for tried-and-true methods, but there must also be room for new ideas and practices. Be flexible.