4 Blinders that Hinder the Success of New Managers

One blind-folded cartoon man is losing the running race to one with eyes open and a smile

New managers may come into their management role with the best of intentions but they are often unaware of the blinders they wear that block their success. They need to integrate into a new group of peers, adjust to a whole new environment and learn the mechanics of the job. With good new manager training, they will learn the management skills they need to succeed. But what about the leadership attitudes they need for success?

Think of the bad managers you have known. They may have understood what to do but not how to do it…like the bully boss who knows the tasks that must be accomplished but communicates and manages them in a domineering, mean-spirited way. Or how about the bosses who blame the team (and just about everyone else) when things go wrong? Or the bosses that think they’re above it all and are unwilling to pitch in to help the team when the going gets rough?

These and similar attitudes are what turn teams against their managers. And new managers may unwittingly wear these blinding attitudes as they step into their new role.

Here are the positive attitudes that will win you the support of your new team:

  • Empathy
    Yes, you are now in charge of the team but don’t let that blind you to the reality of your team members’ environment. You may have even been part of that very team if you were promoted from within. In your eagerness to take on a new leadership role, don’t make the mistake of forgetting what it was like to do the job of an individual team contributor. When things go wrong, offer help and support rather than blame and censure. Of course, you need to maintain acceptable levels of performance but, beyond that, the closer you stay connected to the team and their concerns, the tighter a unit you will create.
  • Broad Perspective
    New managers are generally promoted because of their superior performance as individual contributors. But in a management position, your focus should change. You are not only responsible for your own output but also for the overall results of the team. This plays out in making sure that the team knows you support them…even when things go awry. There will be problems. Work within the team to solve them. The best new managers know how to advocate for their team throughout the organization, support the sincere efforts of the team and never point the finger of blame.
  • Willingness to Do the Dirty Work
    Achieving a new management position took a lot of hard work. But now that you’re there, don’t let it go to your head. You must not appear to be above-it-all. When there’s a job to be done and others can’t do it, you need to help out. After all, if you expect your employees to cooperate with one another for the good of the team, shouldn’t you be prepared to do the same? There should be no team job beneath you. Just think of the points you can make if you surprise the team at your Monday meeting with the coffee already brewed…by you!

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