The 2 most frequent new leader mistakes.

10 08 2015

“Success makes so many people hate you.  I wish it wasn’t that way.  It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

In my experience, newly promoted leaders first mistake is one of two mistakes that are really just different pointy ends of the “relationship bell curve”.  One pointy mistake that newly promoted leaders make, especially if they’re promoted from being part of a team to the leader of the same team, is the tyrranical one.  Last week, they were part of the group, and possibly not the most popular one.  Because we should promote the best, they probably were the hardest working part of the group, and MAYBE they were criticized for working too hard, or “sucking up” to the boss.  Whatever the reason, they use their new power to get revenge on those from the team that they don’t like.  They start their job knowing who they want to “get rid of”, and they wield a heavy club in their management.

The other, possibly more damaging end of the bell curve is the mistake of over-familiarity.  These mistaken leaders give cushy assignments to their best friends from their old job.  They spend off-hours time with their friends from work, and open the door to all kinds of criticism for what they did “at the club” over the weekend.  They end up being the source of workplace gossip for things that they did away from the office.  While either end of the bell curve is wrong, this side may be worse, because your team can’t take you seriously, and respect your rank if you’re their buddy first and leader second.  Having a fair, balanced and  leadership façade may be a bit lonely, and we each need to find our own style along the spectrum, but I’d advise against either pointy end of the bell curve.

Speaking of wishes…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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