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Management: The Five Common Mistakes of New Managers
by Duncan Brodie

Most people want to progress in their work and moving into management is one of the most common ways of progressing. While some step into the new role and prosper, many struggle, become disillusioned, possibly stressed and their performance dips. They make what is best described as common mistakes but these can be avoided or addressed.

Mistake 1: Not getting clarity on your role

Yes most people get a job description and may even have a quick chat with their new boss. Few make the time to get clarity on their role, what the expectations are and what key results are to be achieved.

Solution: Make an appointment with your boss to get crystal clear clarity on what is expected and what is to be delivered so that you can set yourself up for success.

Mistake 2: Holding on to old tasks

This is a particular challenge if you have been promoted internally within the same organisation. There are certain tasks that you might have been very good at and some that you really enjoyed.

Solution: The question you need to answer is whether these are tasks on which your performance as a manager will be judged. If the answer is no, then pass it on to someone else.

Mistake 3: Trying to please everyone

You have to make decisions as a manager, some which will be popular with everyone, some which will be popular with some and unpopular with others and some which will be unpopular with everyone. Accept that when you take decisions, they will not be popular with everyone. It is not different from a meal that has been produced by a great chef. Some will love it, others might or might not like it and for some it will just hate it.

Solution: Take what you believe is the right decision based on the facts and information available, not the one that will please everyone.

Mistake 4: Not believing in yourself

We all have our doubts about our skills, knowledge, experience, and personal attributes but we get to choose whether we use them as an opportunity to shrink or grow. When people take up a role as a manager, self doubt can get in the way of their success.

Solution: Recognise that there are always opportunities to grow and remember that those who appointed you believe in you, so why can't you.

Mistake 5: Going for a home run too quickly

Chances are you will want to make an impact as soon as you can. You probably had some thoughts or ideas about what you would do and how you will be different when you are a manager. It is easy to fall into the trap of going for a home run too quickly.

Solution: Take it a step at a time. Make small changes and as you achieve success, raise the bar and be more adventurous.

You have the potential to be a great manager because you have been appointed one. Make sure that you are not making one or more of the common mistakes of new managers.

Duncan Brodie may be contacted at
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements works with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability. Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at


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