We’ve heard this phrase quite often - ‘there is no need to reinvent the wheel.’ While it is many times heard when a good wheel reinvent would be useful, let's flip it around. Let's think of it as not always having to make the same mistake again. Surely blessed souls have tread this way before! We can also learn from their experience, and avoid making those mistakes entirely.
As a first-time manager, some mistakes can cost you dearly and are somewhat hard to fix once made. What’s more, some of them creep up on us without warning, and we soon find ourselves in a rut, with no idea how we got there.
Here are four mistakes that you might make and tips to prevent them.
A Desire To Be Loved By All: We hate to break it to you, but a decision-maker is rarely ever a universal favourite. There will always be people who love you for a decision, and others who don’t. Many new managers find themselves trying not to make the same mistakes that their previous bosses did. They begin to present themselves in a pleasant way for every single person. In an organisation, getting too many opinions and trying to please everyone can often delay crucial decisions. What’s more, a laidback boss might never really get taken seriously.
Rule of thumb: It is okay to be laidback after-hours, but while at work, focus on what’s best for the company.
Micromanagement: The greatest skill any manager could ever develop is to delegate. Not doing so has cost many a manager their jobs, mental peace and even their health. Why do so many managers find it tough to delegate? Because they lack trust in their team’s ability to deliver without their involvement. Come to think of it; it goes right back to our need to be in control all the time.
Rule of thumb: Delegating is not equal to giving up power. It is about giving people a task, the resources they need and trust that they will perform. Not so bad, right?
‘It’s All About Me’: Don’t we all just hate those bosses who remember to thank everyone in their annual speech, but their team? It undermines all the hard work over time, and points to one very clear insecurity- even as a manager, you want to be the only star that shines. Team members will eventually begin to despise you for being this way. Better avoid that situation.
Rule of thumb: Share the credit. In your weekly review, be sure to thank all those people who are keeping the wheel (did we say wheel again?) turning. Acknowledge the effort of every single person.
Neglecting Your Growth: Once you become a manager, complacency may set in. Suddenly, the next goal is a bit too far away and the last one, already achieved. However, investing in yourself in the form of time, material and training will only help you get better. What’s more, we also suggest that you pay extra attention to your health and wellbeing. We’ve all heard of managers who have just collapsed from fatigue. Well, there’s nothing in the world, and certainly not a job, that’s worth dying for.
Rule of thumb: “Am I getting an hour to myself each morning to do what I like? Am I able to exercise four times a week? Am I reading, writing, doing enough to stimulate my mind?”
What’s your greatest lesson as a first-time manager? Share with us in the comments below.