Being a new manager is tough. You now have to lead a team and there’s a ton of pressure on you to perform. According to Gallup, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores.


Managers make a ton of mistakes and face many challenges when they first start, but here are four common ones that I’ve seen time and time again. You’ll notice that most of these mistakes (if not all) are rooted in fear.

1.  They Don’t Talk About Their Challenges

This mistake is ultimately rooted in fear.  The reason managers don’t talk to others about their challenges is that they’re worried it might make them look bad or like they don’t know what they should know.  That’s not a good way to think and you’re only doing a disservice to yourself. The truth is, most managers are in the exact same boat as you, but everyone is afraid to speak up.


2.  They Think They Should Know Everything On Day One

Big mistake !

What ends up happening, is you stress yourself out and start doing everything rushed. You end up pretending and ultimately lying to yourself and your team. Instead of wasting that energy worrying that you don’t know everything, spend that time and energy learning and developing skills to help you become a better leader.


3.  They Think They Need To Behave Like Other Leaders

It’s perfectly okay to have mentors and role models, and leader in or out of the company that you look up to, but you don’t want to be something or someone you’re not. Something I’ve seen happen a lot is new managers emulating the leadership styles and behaviours of others around them.

Being inauthentic will only make you lose credibility, so it’s not worth it. Short term, it might work, but long term, it won’t.


4.  They Don’t Focus On Goals

As a manager, you need to take a much higher-level view of your team and their work. A big mistake many managers make is trying to get involved in every little detail of every project. Instead, managers should focus on the high-level goals of their team and the bigger picture.


Now the question becomes, with these mistakes in mind, that are mostly rooted in fear and assuming (you know what happens when you assume), what do you do?


1.  Develop A Growth Mindset

The biggest thing that will help you as a new manager is to accept failure and treat life like a learning process.  Develop a growth mindset, and see growth as your number one goal. You need to always look at opportunities to get better, and realize that it’s okay not to know everything. This is easier said than done, but this will be the thing that will have by far the biggest effect on your success as a new manager.


2.  Always Be Learning

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 58% of managers said they didn’t receive any management training. This is sad !

You should take it upon yourself to learn as much as you can. Read every leadership book you can find, subscribe to blogs and newsletters, and just soak up as much information as possible. Do it over a long period of time. While you’re developing that growth mindset, you’ll be hungry to keep developing your skills. As you’ve noticed, most of the mistakes are rooted in fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, etc.

If companies were smart, they would do everything in their power to remove that fear from all employees, especially managers. Communicate that failure is okay. Encourage everyone in the company to have an experimental mindset and to try new things. Without that, your company will stagnate, managers won’t grow, their teams won’t grow, and your culture will suffer.




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