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Saturday, September 26, 2009

1 of 3 Mistakes Most Managers Make

In this series of three blog posts, we will cover the 3 mistakes mangers make. Whether a new manager or seasoned, each of these mistakes can have devastating effects to the team as a whole and to the future of the manager. Each mistake has simple actions steps for ease in correcting however, may require the support of a skilled coach or mentor.

Mistake Number One: Managers forgetting that they are part of the team. There is more power in a 'We' environment than a 'Me, My or I' hierarchy. Good managers forget about self and focus on the good of the whole to empower and lift others up for success.

This is a common mistake among young or newer managers.

While coaching a new manager that had only managed workload and not people, this was a very real scenario. With no training or mentoring, they were thrust into managing a team of 8 people for a mid-sized company, the highest producing team. Continually this manager referred to the work the team had done as ‘the work I have done’ and that reference to ‘me vs. we’ tore at the psyche of the team and each individual who was a part of it.

Ultimately, the team began to sabotage the manager just to get proper acknowledgment. This is common when the members of the team have been in the trenches or with the company longer than the manger.

When mangers go to that selfish focus, it is often a direct assault on each individual member of the team. And, when not corrected quickly, they can retaliate strongly. The members of this team began to stall on completing projects, no-showed for meetings, and started taking their offense to the president of the company (and anyone else who would listen) with a complaint against the manager.

The solution agreed by all levels of leadership and team was to provide the manger with an executive coach to identify areas for improvement and expansion of capacity. The leadership presence that was needed by this young manager would in theory be gained by providing coaching, training and mentoring.

Over a series of weeks, this manager learned their own qualities and areas for improvement, ultimately discovering that managing people was not one of them. Just because they knew the work, did not make them a manager of people, they were not the right person for the job.

Fortunately, this manager self-selected out of that position with the company and made way for someone with the management quotient necessary for the teams success to lead. It was a win-win for all, the team went on to increasing productivity and performance in operations by 67% within two-months after the shift in managers.

Coaching Questions:

  1. What is your company's procedure for promoting managers? How has it worked in the past?
  2. When you consider the I, Me vs. We factor in managing, what side of the pendulum do you reside?
  3. How is performance measured in your organization on the Human Side of the equation?

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