9 Mistakes All New Leaders Make (And How to Avoid Them)

mistakes leaders make

Congratulations! You’ve finally got the job you wanted. You’re a new leader.

You already have grand plans, and you’ve worked out how you’re going to blow your new boss’s mind.

It’s completely natural to feel this way. But there are some easy mistakes that new leaders make when they have this mindset. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid making them too.

1. Working in a Silo

It can be common for new leaders to come in and want to make a name for themselves on their own. However, being a part of a team and showing that you can work with your peers can be even more beneficial for your success.

You need to know how and when to utilise your peers so that they also know how and when to make the most of your skillset. It’s also a good idea to support them when they’re struggling or require assistance. This will help strengthen your relationship with them.

2. Making Big Changes too Quickly

No one likes change. It’s just a fact. It can create fear and anxiety for teams when changes are announced. It can be one of the most common mistakes new leaders make.

This isn’t to say that you should keep everything the way it is. But if you want to make big changes, ensure you’ve got a relationship with your people first and that you also have a strong plan before you unleash your ideas.

3. Not Spending Time With Your Team

Starting a leadership position can come with meeting a lot of new faces, including people outside of your team or division. However, you need to remember who your priority is.

Make sure that you’re spending the majority of your time with your team and building a relationship with them. After all, these are the people you’re going to be relying on the most.

4. Being “The Buddy”

There’s no problem with being friends with your new team members, but you also need to remember that your role is to set a direction and lead your people there.

Your relationship with your team is important, but they need to have a purpose and feel fulfilled in their job. This is on you to deliver this purpose and feeling to them.

5. Being Indirect

You can’t build trust by being indirect with your people. You are going to have so many eyes on you as you’ll be making a first impression on everyone.

If you want to have a good first impression, then you should be upfront about your plans. If you don’t know what they are yet, then say that. Your team will appreciate the honesty.

6. Ignoring Performance Concerns

Looking the other way has never helped a leader. If you find something that needs to be addressed, then use this as an opportunity for improvement.

It’s a good way to bring fresh eyes to an old problem and can help in justifying to your boss that they made the right choice in choosing you.

7. Displaying a Lack of Confidence

Every leader has that “holy shit” moment when they get a new job and realise they have to do it now. It’s a completely natural feeling known as Imposter Syndrome.

But you need to rise above this. You need to display confidence. If you can’t, then your team is going to wonder why they should follow you.

8. Micromanaging

The last thing you want to do is get on the wrong side of your new team members. Micromanaging is one of the biggest mistakes new leaders make.

This type of leadership can show a lack of trust and confidence with your people, and what you really end up doing is undermining them. Find out from your direct reports how they like to be managed and get regular feedback on how you can improve.

9. Sharing the Wrong Type of Info

Sharing information is important for your team. They like to be in the loop, and it can help in providing direction. If they know what the higher-ups are looking for, then they know where to put their energies.

At the same time, there is information that doesn’t need to be shared with anyone but yourself. It can benefit you and help you construct a strategy. But it can leave your team wondering how it fits into their role.

How New Leaders Can Avoid Mistakes

There’s nothing wrong with mistakes as long as you learn from them. New leaders come in with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. It’s important to maintain this throughout your journey, even if you have a stumble every now and then.

If you’re a new leader and need some tips to help you get started, then make sure to follow the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find advice and guidance on how to improve your skills and abilities. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss a post.

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