The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Avoid the 5 Fatal Flaws of New Managers

March 15th, 2018

What’s hot?

In her studies of first-time managers, Linda Hill, Harvard Business School Professor reports five common mistakes.








So what?

Falling victim to myths and misperceptions about what leadership is all about can greatly limit your successful transition to a management role.


What to do?

  1. Refuse to accept the myth of authority. Your boss, colleagues, and stakeholders, inside and outside the organization, will make constant and conflicting demands.  You cannot boss your way through conflicting priorities.  Learn instead, how to employ interest-based negotiation (a technique for reaching agreement based on common interests).
  2. Don’t fall victim to your title. People are not responsive because of your title. People follow you when they respect you. To gain respect, you must first demonstrate your values and character.  Ask your direct reports about their hopes and concerns and the most important thing you can do to support them. Share your hopes and concerns with them as well as how you would like to work with them.
  3. Recognize that you cannot control your direct reports. Compliance is not the same as commitment.  Set goals in concert with your direct reports rather than dictating what you believe they should be.  When you do so, you promote a sense of ownership that results in engagement and initiative.
  4. Avoid a focus on individuals and instead focus on the team. Building a team is tricky business that pays off handsomely. Tap into the diversity and collective power of the team to solve problems and spark creativity.
  5. Don’t get stuck in the status quo. True, your job is to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  However good leaders strive to leave the operation in a better place than they found it.  Challenge organizational processes and procedures that can be improved and be prepared to discuss how you think they should be changed and what you are willing to do.

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