Mistakes matter more when you’re the new kid on the block. Long-term relationships contextualize and soften occasional screw ups.
13 mistakes new leaders make:
- Forgetting your arrival stresses others, including those who hired you. The stress you feel, others feel too.
- Proving technical skill. You don’t need to prove what you know. You did that when they hired you. Own the job. You’re qualified.
- Reaching for big wins. Grab low hanging fruit. Win small – win often. Big wins are the result of a series of small wins.
- Believing everything you’re told. People have agendas. Trust but verify.
- Basing confidence in technical skills rather than the ability to learn.
- Making yourself look good while neglecting others. You look good when you make others look good. Use “we” more than “I” or “me”.
- Making statements before asking questions. Questions make new leaders look smart.
- Forgetting what’s small to you is big to others. Before changing things ask, “Who’s impacted?”
- Neglecting the social game. New leaders get so busy they forget to connect vertically and horizontally within organizations.
- Not making decisions. Listen, investigate, seek suggestions, but whatever you do, decide.
- Neglecting the players who really get things done while focusing on high profile people. Play with players who aren’t official leaders.
- Forgetting names.
- Making premature judgments about people. Watch the quiet ones. They offer more than you think.
Bonus tip: When you feel the need to receive honor, give it.
What mistakes have you seen new leaders make?
How can new leaders avoid common new-leader mistakes?