New leaders are called every day, and every year those same leaders stumble and fall. They make new mistakes, but many of them are old news. If you can work on improving your fundamentals, you can focus on learning how your mistakes on the job can lead to success within your organization. Javier Loya CEO of OTC Global Holdings says that “Every new leader makes mistakes. This is one way you are going to learn how to do things correctly.”
The Molehill Problem
The old saying about mountains and molehills is the classic example of new management foibles. Management is all about recognizing roadblocks and ensuring the team achieves milestones by successfully avoiding them. That role carries a heavy burden and new managers may feel pressured to crack down on teams as deadlines approach.
That mindset creates explosive conflicts over small details that don’t matter much. Management should focus on rooting out the ineffectual methodologies teams use that kill productivity. In other words: think better. Focus on improving your process and creating the conditions that lead to success.
Trying Too Hard
New leaders all feel the pressure to ensure the team respects them, and that upper management has placed its trust in the right hands. This mindset creates an era of perfectionism, an element of workplace toxicity. Perfectionism seems harmless, even necessary, at first glance. Who wants something sub-par on release day? The problem created becomes a mix of failure to meet deadlines, lack of productivity, and obsession over irrelevant details.
Javier Loya also says: “Maybe you do know what’s best, but you won’t know if you don’t encourage an open dialogue.” Your role is one of protectors, of ensuring you deliver the best possible experience. Not dictator who creates.
New leaders sometimes avoid reporting and listening entirely, usually to avoid being seen as a micromanager. This hands-off approach leads to gaps in the organization.
To avoid these gaps, foster a culture where employees are encouraged to speak up and provide feedback. A supportive office environment often leads to greater insights and ideas.