3 Mistakes New Bosses Make

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By: Executive Coach Monique Betty

Whether you have been hired from outside the organization or have earned a promotion from within, your success in the new role will greatly depend on how well you transition in to your new title of boss. The results of your leadership within the first few months are critical to getting you and the team on the pathway to success. In doing so, the most important element in the process is building trust between you and your team and throughout the organization.

Here are some of mistakes you must avoid to manage the workplace relationships appropriately and begin to earn the trust that will position you as a powerful performer.

Mistake #1 – Believing you have all the answers

Sure you have aggressive goals and a big job ahead, but you could end up peddling backwards. Instead, put your emphasis on asking questions and listening intently in order to understand the big picture. As the new manager, you only have one chance to make a first and powerful impression. As the authors of Strength Based Leadership identified from their years of global research, great leaders emerge when they provide followers with what they want and need; hope, stability, trust, compassion.

Mistake #2 – Failing to understand the culture of the organization

With becoming the new boss, some take on the attitude of ‘ There’s a new sheriff in town.” This attitude is at times supported with the hands-on-the-revolver display of actions, barking out commands and instilling a sense of fear which may be a complete contradiction to the established cultural norms of the organization and may actually backfire.
Instead, meet people where they are. Make observations and do your best to quantify what you see as inefficient practices. For example, on average 25% of the staff arrive 30-60 minutes late to work, or the daily staff celebrations cause 75% of the staff to be non- productivity for 2 hours of each day. Sure, bringing an end to these behaviors may be the right thing to achieve the desired results. However, playing the sheriff card may be ineffective in developing relationships, which could result in reduced engagement and increased turnover.
You should inform the team of your observations and allow them to present solutions that will result in increased efficiency, improved project completion time, or increased quality work while allowing them to make necessary modifications to what has been part of the culture.

Mistake #3 – Failing to get to know the people

As the new leader, you are charged with responsibility of getting the best results out of others. Yes, the pile of work in your inbox is steep, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it all has to be done by you. You should take the time learn about the people on your team an in your organization. Take the immediate step to learn about those who report to you by scheduling one-on-one meetings and reviewing their personnel file. Find out what motivates them and what their career aspirations might be. You may be surprised to learn who you can delegate work to and present unique challenges for. The quality of relationships you establish within the organization will have a direct correlation to your future success, compared to the lack of quality relationships which could lead to your demise.

Career and Executive Coach Monique Betty is a leading provider of leadership development and career advancement for midcareer professionals in the workplace. Serving clients around the world, Monique primarily works virtually with high-performing individuals who desire to take their professional skills to the next level.

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