Top five management mistakes you should always avoid
That’s the punch line in the 1959 hit movie Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. And though it was a perfect ending to that movie, when it comes to your professional performance, it’s not really the best motto to live by. As an aspirational manager, you should always strive to improve your skills—even if perfection is bound to remain out of reach. But when you’re managing your team, you don’t necessarily have someone on hand who’s in a position to point out your mistakes when you make them. That means you have to learn from others and monitor your own actions to ensure you’re not making any serious missteps. To help you out, we’ve created a list of the top five management mistakes to avoid—and what to do instead.
- Failing to delegate. Some managers think they’re the only ones who can complete a task well. These managers are the ones that get overstressed, overworked, and burnt out. Why? Because their job description isn’t to do everything, but to manage everything. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, take stock of your team and determine what types of tasks each person can handle. Then as the tasks pile up on your to-do list, re-route them to your team. Don’t worry if they make mistakes: simply offer them constructive feedback, and they’ll probably do better next time.
- Getting your priorities mixed up. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to manage your people and resources in order to advance your company’s objectives. Unfortunately, inexperienced managers sometimes get sidetracked by a goal they think is more relevant—a dangerous mistake to make, as it can set you at odds with the C-suite. Always make sure you fully understand your company’s objectives and what your team’s role is in realizing them.
- Procrastinating. It’s not uncommon for new managers to become overwhelmed by an upcoming task or project. However, some make the mistake of delaying what needs to be done until the last minute. And as Lolly Daskal points out in her Inc. article “7 Time Management Mistakes That Are a Complete Waste of Time,” when that happens, the results are more often than not unsatisfactory. If you’re intimidated by a project, start working on it right away. Break it down into smaller goals, and divide the tasks among your team. That way, you’ll have more time, more oversight, and better quality control.
- Focusing on the bottom line instead of your employees. Revenue is important for any organization. However, to generate revenue, you need great employees who are happy and invested in the success of your company. If you’re constantly making decisions to increase your bottom line to the detriment of your people, you’re going to lose employee engagement. As a result, your bottom line will suffer. Instead, take care of your people, and they’ll take care of you.
- Not going the extra mile. If your people see you slacking off by getting to the office late, leaving early, and spending far too long on calls that don’t sound like they’re business-related, it’s bound to have an adverse impact on their morale. Instead, lead by example. Always go the extra mile, and make sure your people can count on you to do the right thing.
Keep this list in mind, and be careful to avoid making these mistakes. But even if you do make one, don’t worry too much. Just view it as a learning opportunity. Because after all, nobody’s perfect!