CE#325: Twelve Ways Leaders Fail New Managers (BBW)

Bloomberg Businessweek

1. Provided lax onboarding. You had to learn on the fly when you started. Your manager didn’t have time to coddle you and it made you resourceful and resilient. So you leave your new hires to sink or swim, figuring they’ll come through just as you did—when that’s not the case.

2. Set a poor example. Your employees take their cues from you. You set the tone and serve as the role model. The question is: What are they adopting from you? Attitudes and behaviors are contagious. Your conduct sets the boundaries for what’s appropriate. Take a look at your flaws. Ask yourself if you would accept those defects from your direct or indirect reports.

3. Lacked accountability. Your managers can’t read your mind. Look at the expectations you’ve set. What are your priorities? What larger purpose do you ultimately want to achieve? What is your timeline for reaching it? What metrics should they hit? What will happen if they miss these marks? And how often do you review all this with them? Whatever gets measured gets done, or so the cliché goes.

4. Offered no support system. Management requires a steep learning curve, with so much changing on a moment’s notice. Too often, new managers feel alone in a bubble. Before you throw them to the wolves, introduce them to key leaders and reliable veterans who can provide a safety net, sage advice, and occasional support. Give them time to build relationships. And don’t worry about a mentor: They’ll find one on their own.

5. Accepted underperformance. You think they don’t take the hint. But what cues are you giving them? Are you sharing the hard facts? Or are you just tiptoeing and sugarcoating, hoping the issues self-correct over time? Fact is, self-awareness is a rare trait. And your managers deserve better than token feedback from you.

6. Didn’t listen. You hired them for who they were and what they could do. Then you plugged them in and expected them to do your bidding without question. But sometimes they push back … and for good reason. Want to know the quickest way to alienate a new manager? Ignore the knowledge, experience, and talent he brings to the table. Yeah, you probably hired him because he reminded you of yourself. But you have blind spots. So ditch the all-knowing bully shtick. Listen—even when he says what you don’t want to hear. That might be a telltale sign to change course.

7. Never solicited feedback. You think you know what’s really going on. You believe only numbers reflect performance. But it isn’t hard to conjure up success for one year. You need to ensure that it continues year after year. Without a solid foundation based on intangibles—camaraderie, buy-in, trust—everything inevitably falls apart. So quit focusing exclusively on the quantifiable. Start talking people: your managers’ direct reports, peers, and partners. Don’t be afraid of what they’ll say.

Full article here

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