What are the 10 Common Mistakes of Newly Appointed Managers

What are the 10 Common Mistakes of Newly Appointed Managers

New supervisors commonly encounter challenges that lead to predictable mistakes. It is crucial for managers to be aware of these common pitfalls in their decision-making and actions.

Manager’s Mistake 1:Seizing power and attempting to hold onto it.
New supervisors often struggle with embracing empowerment. They perceive their new supervisory role as a chance to exert the power they have long desired. They mistakenly believe that by making all the decisions themselves, they can strengthen their position of authority. Unfortunately, they fail to grasp the paradox of power: the more you delegate and empower others, the more power you actually possess.
The key to embracing this paradox lies in developing team members, eliminating obstacles that hinder task completion, and empowering individuals to make the necessary decisions for successful project outcomes. By investing in the growth and autonomy of their team, supervisors can cultivate a culture of empowerment that leads to greater overall success.

Case Study
A renowned tech company named Innovatech hired a new manager named Victor. Victor was known for his impressive track record and expertise in his field, but he had a fatal flaw — his hunger for power.

As soon as Victor assumed his new position, he viewed his newfound authority as a golden opportunity to solidify his dominance. He believed that by making all the decisions himself, he would establish his power base and be seen as the ultimate authority figure.

Unbeknownst to Victor, the company had a culture of empowerment and collaboration. The previous manager, Olivia, had fostered an environment where employees were encouraged to take ownership of their work, make decisions, and contribute to the company’s success.

However, Victor failed to understand the paradox of power. He mistakenly thought that holding tightly onto his authority would make him a strong and influential leader. Instead, his actions caused discontent and stifled the growth and creativity of his team.

Initially, the team members were excited about Victor’s arrival, hoping that he would bring fresh perspectives and insights. However, they soon realized that Victor was more interested in maintaining control than empowering them.

He micromanaged every aspect of their work, leaving no room for innovation or individual decision-making. Team members felt frustrated and disempowered, as their voices were ignored, and their ideas were dismissed without consideration.

Roadblocks to task accomplishment began to accumulate, as Victor’s need for control hindered progress. The team’s morale plummeted, and their once-high productivity started to decline rapidly.

Manager’s Mistake2: Failing to seek feedback.
The rhetorical question, “How are you ever going to know if you don’t ask?” holds particular relevance for new supervisors. Among all leaders, they have a greater need to seek feedback regarding their performance in their newfound roles. However, it is unfortunate that newly appointed supervisors often lack the confidence to request honest feedback, as they fear the potential revelations it might bring.

The insecurity that accompanies their new position prevents them from actively seeking the valuable insights and perspectives that could help them grow and improve. Overcoming this fear and creating a safe environment where open feedback is encouraged is crucial for new supervisors to foster their own development and enhance their effectiveness as leaders.

Case Study:
The family-owned restaurant called “Taste Haven” had been running successfully for decades under the diligent management of the Harrison family. However, when the time came for the eldest son, Andrew, to take over as the new manager, a common mistake began to unfold.
Andrew was eager to put his mark on the restaurant and lead it to even greater heights. He had grown up around the business, learning the ropes from his parents, and believed he had all the necessary skills to succeed as the new manager.
However, one crucial aspect eluded Andrew — he failed to solicit feedback from his team. The question, “How are you ever going to know if you don’t ask?” rang true, but Andrew couldn’t bring himself to seek honest feedback.
Deep down, Andrew feared what his employees might tell him. He worried that they would criticize his decisions or point out his shortcomings as a manager. The insecurity that accompanied his new role hindered him from seeking the valuable insights and perspectives of his team members.
As days turned into weeks, Andrew’s management decisions began to show their flaws. He introduced new menu items without considering the input of the seasoned chefs and ignored the suggestions of the waitstaff regarding customer service improvements. The overall morale in the restaurant started to decline, and customers noticed the changes.

Manager Mistake 3: Delegating without authorizing
Failure to delegate with proper authorization is a mistake that is not limited to new supervisors alone. However, it is often observed that new supervisors, in their attempt to retain control, hold their team members accountable without granting them the necessary authority. This behavior is closely associated with the misconception of maintaining power.
By expecting individuals to deliver results without empowering them to manage their own work processes, it not only leads to frustration among team members but also proves to be an ineffective approach in achieving organizational goals.
Case Study
Creative Edge, the marketing agency was known for its innovative campaigns and dynamic team. However, when a new manager named Sarah joined the company, she unknowingly made a critical mistake — delegating without authorizing.
Sarah was an experienced marketer who had recently been promoted to a managerial position. Eager to make an impact, she was determined to achieve ambitious goals for the agency. However, her eagerness led her to delegate tasks to her team members without providing them with the appropriate authority and resources to accomplish those tasks effectively.
She would assign projects to her team members, expecting them to deliver exceptional results.

Creative Edge-marketing agency was known for its innovative campaigns and dynamic team. However, when a new manager named Sarah joined the company, she unknowingly made a critical mistake — delegating without authorizing.
Sarah was an experienced marketer who had recently been promoted to a managerial position. Eager to make an impact, she was determined to achieve ambitious goals for the agency. However, her eagerness led her to delegate tasks to her team members without providing them with the appropriate authority and resources to accomplish those tasks effectively.
She would assign projects to her team members, expecting them to deliver exceptional results.

One day, Sarah assigned Mark the task of creating an advertisement for a client, with a deadline of two days for completing the graphic design. However, when Mark attempted to purchase licensed graphics for the advertisement, he discovered that the finance department required approval from his manager. Although it was a small purchase, Mark was unable to proceed without Sarah’s authorization. Unfortunately, Sarah was out of town attending a training session and was inaccessible during this time. As a result, Mark was unable to finish the client’s job within the given timeframe. When Sarah finally returned, she placed the blame on Mark, accusing him of being irresponsible.

Upon Sarah’s return from her training, she discovered that Mark had been unable to complete the client’s job due to the lack of authorization for the graphic design purchase. Frustrated and disappointed, she instinctively blamed Mark for what she perceived as irresponsibility. However, as she reflected on the situation, Sarah realized that she had made a critical mistake by delegating without providing the necessary authorization.

Recognizing her error, Sarah immediately approached Mark to apologize for her oversight and take responsibility for the situation. She acknowledged that she had failed to authorize the purchase and had not communicated the proper channels for obtaining approvals. Sarah realized that her expectations had been unrealistic without empowering her team members with the necessary authority to make decisions and take appropriate actions.

Determined to rectify the situation and improve her leadership approach, Sarah decided to hold a team meeting to address the issue openly and transparently. During the meeting, she apologized to the entire team and acknowledged her mistake in delegating without authorizing. Sarah explained that she had learned an important lesson about the importance of providing clear guidelines and empowering her team members with the necessary authority.

To prevent such incidents from happening again, Sarah implemented a new process for obtaining approvals within the team. She established clear channels of communication and decision-making, ensuring that team members had the authority they needed to fulfill their tasks effectively. Sarah also encouraged open dialogue and feedback, creating an environment where team members felt comfortable discussing any challenges they faced in obtaining necessary authorizations.

Manager’s Mistake 4: Reprimanding employees in the presence of others.
Reprimanding employees in front of their colleagues is a practice that creates an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. No one enjoys receiving negative feedback, especially when it is delivered in the form of harangues and threats. Publicly pointing out mistakes or reprimanding team members within earshot of others can have demeaning, degrading, and demotivating effects.
Moreover, this approach is not a wise course of action. It fails to consider the impact on individual morale, team dynamics, and overall productivity. Engaging in such behavior may even contribute to the observation that “whoever gets unionized deserves it,” as it highlights a lack of understanding and respect for employees’ well-being and rights.
Instead, providing feedback in private settings allows for more constructive and respectful discussions. By creating a supportive environment, where mistakes are addressed tactfully and opportunities for growth are identified, supervisors can foster a culture of continuous improvement and employee engagement.
Case Study
“Precision Products,” renowned for its commitment to quality craftsmanship and dedicated employees, faced a significant challenge due to the actions of its new manager, David. Unbeknownst to him, David was making a critical mistake by reprimanding employees in front of their colleagues.

David, driven by a strict and rigid management style, firmly believed in upholding high standards and discipline within his team. However, his lack of emotional intelligence prevented him from understanding the detrimental impact of publicly reprimanding his employees. Whenever someone made a mistake or fell short of expectations, David would openly criticize and chastise them during team meetings or in the presence of their peers.

The consequences of David’s actions were deeply demeaning and degrading for the employees. They felt humiliated and demotivated as their mistakes were showcased to their colleagues. The constant public reprimands created an environment fraught with tension and hostility, hindering productivity and eroding morale.

Unfortunately, one day during a company-wide meeting, David targeted John, one of his subordinates, for supposedly losing a client. In reality, the situation was more complex, and it was unclear whose mistake it truly was. David accused John of being irresponsible and insensitive to the client’s needs, failing to consider his own oversight in missing an important email from the client regarding a discount request. Regrettably, David attempted to make a joke about John’s personal life, assuming John’s fiance would leave him after he misses an important text from her, comparing it to the situation with the client, which elicited laughter from some individuals in the room. This insensitive remark further demoralized John, leading him to feel utterly defeated. Unable to bear the humiliation and distress caused by the incident, John decided to resign shortly after the meeting.

The repercussions of David’s actions reverberated throughout Precision Products. The company suffered the loss of a valuable employee, and the overall work environment became even more toxic and demotivating. The laughter that arose from the inappropriate joke exposed a culture where demeaning behavior was tolerated, further damaging employee trust and confidence in the management.

Manager’s Mistake 5: Supervising everyone the same way.
It is clear there is no one best way to supervise employees. Yet many new supervisors confuse differentiating among direct reports with showing favoritism.
For example, rarely do new supervisors conduct group meetings to explain why they treat different people differently or consider such differentiation to be a legitimate practice to be discussed. New supervisors tend to make assumptions about what motivates their people, but studies have shown they actually tend to lack knowledge about what their people want, need and expect.
Case Study:
“Tech Innovators” thrived on its diverse workforce, comprised of talented individuals with varying skills and motivations. However, a new manager named Rachel made a critical mistake — supervising everyone the same way.

Rachel had recently been promoted to a managerial position due to her technical expertise and exceptional problem-solving skills. Excited about her new role, she believed that applying a standardized approach to supervising her team would ensure fairness and avoid accusations of favoritism.

However, Rachel failed to recognize that each team member had unique strengths, motivations, and expectations. She assumed that what worked for one employee would work for everyone else. She conducted group meetings and provided instructions without considering the individual needs and aspirations of her team members.

Alex, an analytical and introverted software developer, was left feeling lost and unguided as Rachel failed to provide clear and concise directives, leaving him struggling to work autonomously without proper direction.

Maya, a creative and extroverted designer, grew frustrated and stifled under Rachel’s micromanagement, as she never allowed Maya the freedom to explore innovative design concepts or contribute her unique ideas.

Sarah, a dedicated and hardworking project manager, constantly felt overlooked and undervalued, as Rachel failed to provide clear and comprehensive directives and neglected to offer the necessary support and clarification for project goals.

Rachel’s refusal to adapt her management style to meet the individual needs of her team members created a toxic work environment where communication broke down, motivation dwindled, and productivity suffered. The once thriving and diverse workforce of Tech Innovators became disheartened, leading to high turnover and a loss of valuable talent.

As the negative consequences mounted, Rachel’s failure to correct her management approach only exacerbated the issues, leaving her teammates feeling unappreciated, unheard, and ultimately seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Manager’s Mistake 6. Keeping the interesting work for themselves.
Many supervisors tend to assign their team members only routine and non-creative tasks, depriving them of stimulating and challenging assignments. This issue is often seen when new supervisors find themselves overwhelmed by their new responsibilities, which require competencies they have yet to develop. Consequently, they feel more at ease handling familiar tasks and revert to their previous role as individual contributors, rather than embracing the opportunity to learn how to effectively delegate and empower others.
By holding onto the interesting work, supervisors hinder their team members’ growth and limit the potential of the entire team. To address this issue, supervisors must focus on developing their leadership skills, understanding the strengths and capabilities of their team, and learning to delegate tasks appropriately. By empowering their team members, removing roadblocks, and fostering an environment that promotes growth and learning, supervisors can unlock the full potential of their team and achieve greater success collectively.
Case Study
Creative Minds Agency was renowned for its innovative campaigns and talented creative team. However, a new manager named Lisa made a critical mistake — keeping the interesting work for herself.
Lisa had recently been promoted to a managerial position due to her exceptional design skills and attention to detail. Thrilled by her new role, she found comfort in the familiar tasks that had led to her promotion. Unbeknownst to Lisa, she unintentionally neglected to delegate the more creative and challenging projects to her team members.
As a result, the employees were left with routine, non-creative tasks that failed to stimulate their creative abilities. They felt overlooked and undervalued, as the opportunity to showcase their skills and contribute to exciting projects was reserved for their manager.
The team members began to express their frustrations, highlighting the missed opportunities for growth and development. They believed that Lisa’s reluctance to delegate interesting work stemmed from her own comfort zone and fear of relinquishing control.

Manager’s Mistake 7: Siding with team members.
Showing favoritism towards team members is a common tendency among new supervisors. They may find themselves excessively sympathetic, particularly towards those who were their friends or former peers. When conflicts arise, these close relationships and personal empathy can create a challenge in striking a proper balance between meeting the needs of employees and fulfilling the goals of the organization.
It is important for new supervisors to recognize the significance of maintaining objectivity and fairness in their decision-making. They must make deliberate efforts to avoid favoritism and treat all team members equitably. By prioritizing the needs of both individuals and the organization, supervisors can foster a healthy work environment that promotes collaboration, trust, and overall success.
Case Study
The Bright Ideas Marketing Agency had recently promoted one of its star marketers, Adam, to the position of manager. However, Adam soon found himself making a critical mistake — siding with some of his team members.
Adam had built strong friendships with his former peers, and the transition to a managerial role didn’t sever those relationships. He cared deeply for his team members and empathized with their challenges. Unfortunately, this empathy clouded his judgment when conflicts arose, causing him to prioritize their needs over the needs of the organization.
Whenever conflicts occurred within the team, Adam’s close relationships with his former peers and his empathetic nature hindered his ability to appropriately address the situation. He found it difficult to maintain a balance between being a supportive friend and a fair manager. Adam’s tendency was to favor his team members, even when their actions or behavior negatively impacted the organization.

One day, a project was nearing its deadline, and two team members, Sarah and John, had been assigned crucial tasks to complete. However, Sarah consistently missed deadlines and failed to deliver quality work, causing delays and negatively affecting the project’s outcome.

Recognizing Sarah’s struggles at home as a mother and wife, Adam sympathized with her and provided her with additional support and leniency. He believed that her friendship and personal challenges warranted understanding and second chances. Meanwhile, John, a diligent and hardworking team member, felt frustrated by the unequal treatment and the impact it had on the project’s progress.

Despite John’s repeated efforts to excel in his assigned tasks, he received little recognition or assistance from Adam. The imbalance in Adam’s management style became apparent as he continuously sided with Sarah, ignoring the impact it had on other team members and the organization as a whole.

Manager’s Mistake 8: Distancing themselves from direct reports.
Creating distance between themselves and their direct reports is a common approach taken by some new supervisors. While it is true that favoritism can be detrimental, there are supervisors who believe it is necessary or preferable to disengage from their former colleagues.

These supervisors adhere to the notion that “familiarity breeds contempt” and seek to prevent negative consequences by establishing a separation. However, this approach often results in damaging valuable relationships. It is essential for supervisors to understand that overseeing others’ work does not necessitate isolating themselves from their team members.

Unfortunately, some new supervisors misinterpret their responsibilities and believe that maintaining a certain distance is a requirement. However, this perceived separateness is often perceived by direct reports as aloofness, arrogance, or insecurity. It is crucial for supervisors to strike a balance by actively engaging with their team members, fostering open communication, and demonstrating genuine interest in their well-being and professional development.

By building strong relationships, supervisors can establish trust, cultivate a positive work environment, and effectively lead their team towards success. Rather than isolating themselves, supervisors should strive to be approachable, supportive, and collaborative, ensuring that direct reports feel valued and motivated to contribute their best work.

Case Study
A prominent architectural firm called “Innovate Designs” had recently promoted one of its talented architects, Rachel, to the role of manager. However, Rita soon found herself making a critical mistake — distancing herself from her direct reports.

Rita believed that her new managerial role required her to establish a professional distance from her former colleagues. She believed in the adage “familiarity breeds contempt” and feared that being too close to her direct reports would compromise her ability to provide objective feedback and make tough decisions.

Driven by this belief, Rita unintentionally created a divide between herself and her team members. She erected an invisible wall that prevented open communication and hindered the development of meaningful relationships.

She actively avoided any form of social interaction, including face-to-face meetings, opting instead for written-chat meetings. She refrained from having lunch with her subordinates and chose to have food delivered to her office. Whenever a team member requested an in-person conversation, she consistently redirected them to communicate via email.

Her direct reports interpreted her behavior as aloofness, arrogance, or insecurity, leading to a breakdown in trust and collaboration.

The team members felt excluded and undervalued, as Rachel seemed detached and disengaged from their day-to-day activities. They struggled to understand her expectations and lacked the support and guidance they needed to excel in their roles. The work environment became strained, with morale declining and productivity suffering as a result.

Manager’s Mistake 9: Promoting an us-versus-them attitude.
Promoting an us-versus-them attitude is a detrimental practice that can manifest in different ways. Firstly, a new supervisor may blame management for insufficient support of the team’s work or for frequently changing priorities.

On the other hand, some new supervisors may develop a negative perception of their own team members, considering them as untrustworthy, lazy, or lacking in creativity.

However, both conditions disregard two crucial facts. Firstly, employees view the supervisor as a representation of the organization itself. Therefore, when a supervisor creates a divisive atmosphere, it negatively impacts the perception of the entire organization. Secondly, it is important to recognize that a supervisor’s primary responsibility is the development of their team.

By fostering an us-versus-them mentality, supervisors hinder team collaboration, trust, and overall performance. Instead, supervisors should focus on building strong relationships with both their team and higher management, working towards alignment and open communication. They must promote a culture of unity and shared goals, where everyone’s contributions are valued, and the organization and team can thrive together.

Case Study
Tech Solutions has provided growth by fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment. However, a new manager named Mark made a critical mistake — he promoted an us-versus-them attitude.

Mark had recently been appointed as a manager, and he felt a sense of loyalty to his team members. However, he developed a belief that the organization’s management did not adequately support the work of his team. He blamed them for changing priorities and perceived lack of resources, creating a divide between his team and the upper management.

Moreover, Mark inadvertently developed a negative attitude toward some of his own team members. He started to view them as untrustworthy, lazy, and unimaginative. This attitude eroded the sense of unity and collaboration within the team and hindered their development and productivity.

As a result of Mark’s mindset, a subtle us-versus-them mentality emerged within the company. The team members felt isolated from the rest of the organization, and the trust and camaraderie among colleagues began to erode. The work environment became divisive, with a lack of cooperation and shared goals.

Manager’s Mistake 10: Violating Rules and Regulations
Engaging in inappropriate behaviors is a concern that affects many new supervisors. Often, these supervisors have witnessed their former supervisors and other leaders within the organization partaking in indefensible practices or even violating rules and regulations, which can result in disciplinary action against individuals or the organization as a whole. Consequently, new supervisors may unknowingly find themselves engaging in questionable practices that are potentially unlawful.

It is crucial for new supervisors to familiarize themselves with the organization’s policies, procedures, and legal obligations. By educating themselves on the proper code of conduct and seeking guidance when faced with uncertain situations, supervisors can ensure they avoid any unlawful behavior. Open communication and collaboration with colleagues, superiors, and human resources can also provide valuable insights and guidance, helping new supervisors navigate ethical dilemmas successfully.

Adhering to high ethical standards and conducting oneself with integrity is essential for new supervisors in establishing a positive work culture and upholding the organization’s reputation. By making informed decisions and seeking clarification when needed, supervisors can contribute to a healthy and compliant work environment.

Case Study
A prominent financial institution named “Harbor Bank” maintained a strong ethical culture and adhered to the highest standards of integrity. However, a new manager named Eric made a critical mistake — he engaged in unlawful behaviors.

Eric had recently been assigned to a managerial position due to his exceptional financial acumen and track record. However, during his tenure as a regular employee in his previous post, he had observed some of his former supervisors and other leaders engaging in questionable practices, including bending the rules and cutting corners to achieve their personal goals.

Eric mistakenly believed that they were the norm within the organization. Consequently, as a new manager, he unintentionally continued some of these behaviors, thinking that they were acceptable and even expected.

For example, Eric disregarded certain compliance regulations and engaged in unethical practices such as providing preferential treatment to select clients, overlooking questionable transactions, and manipulating data to achieve desired outcomes.

The organization had implemented a reward system for upselling, encouraging the sale of new credit cards to existing customers. Eric, seeing an opportunity, took advantage of this by issuing new credit cards to his customers without their knowledge or consent. He viewed it as a harmless act, as it would raise his customers’ credit limits and result in bonuses for him and his team.

His actions went against the bank’s code of conduct and violated legal and ethical boundaries.

Unbeknownst to Eric, his unlawful behaviors were observed by a diligent employee named Sarah, who was deeply committed to upholding the bank’s integrity. Recognizing the potential consequences for both Eric and the organization, Sarah decided to report her concerns to the bank’s ethics hotline.

Upon receiving the report, the bank’s senior management initiated an internal investigation. The investigation revealed Eric’s engagement in unlawful behaviors, which jeopardized the bank’s reputation and exposed it to legal and regulatory risks.

Eric was immediately suspended pending further investigation. The bank took swift action to rectify the situation, implementing rigorous compliance training programs and reinforcing the importance of ethical conduct to all employees.
Avoiding these common manager’s mistakes is crucial for new supervisors to create a positive and productive work environment. By empowering their teams, seeking feedback, treating individuals fairly, delegating effectively, and upholding ethical standards, managers can lead their teams towards success and foster a culture of collaboration, growth, and achievement.

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