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Leading a Business - When You Don't Know How!

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Yikes! You've finally achieved that management position you have always craved. You have plenty of people underneath you to make coffee, and the flexibility to pick up your kids from school in an emergency. Great. But the problem is... you've never managed before, and despite your confident 'I can manage well' speech you gave during your interview, you don't really know a thing about how to actually get people to do exactly what you say without building resentment.

Trust me, this is a position that literally thousands of the newly promoted find themselves in every year. Without sufficient guidance (either from 3rd parties such as me,) or from within the organisation, you could easily find yourself falling into the standard, cliche and old-fashioned methods of management that DON'T WORK and will only cause you to loose the respect of your employees - some of whom may have applied for your position too, and will already feel like they can do your job better than you can.

Lets prove them wrong shall we?

OK, lets start with the 3 biggest mistakes that new managers make when they enter their new position even on their first day at work on the job.

Mistake Number 1: They Micro Manage.

Micro managing is when a manager has a clear idea of how they want a task to be performed, and proceeds to tell the subordinate EXACTLY how they need to work to get it done perfectly. Eventually - yes, the job will be done to the exact specifications of the manager, however the drawbacks are almost too many to list.

* It's slower. Not only does the initial briefing take longer, but also the employee will have to keep on asking you questions when they're not quite sure of something, or run into a problem - because they know that you will have an answer for them, and that if they did it themselves, they would probably deviate from your vision.

* It's hurtful. This method communicates to the subordinate that you don't actually trust their opinions and judgment in how this task should be done - as if they would cause harm to the business by doing it their own way.

* It's inefficient. Micromanaging several tasks will completely tie a manager up, leaving them unable to perform the rest of their managerial duties, including keeping a high level overview of the task and where it's headed.

* It's frustrating for the manager. It is almost impossible for an employee to replicate a detailed, creative or long term task in the exact way you demand. So setting this as an objective is doomed to fail.

Mistake Number 2: They try to be everyone's friend.

As Colin Powell (Former US Secretary) once said in a lecture to students: You cannot be afraid of hurting someones feelings. When a follower is under-performing or harming the teams progress, your other followers will be looking to you to put it right. Trying to work around the problem, or ignore it will only undermine your leadership. You need to be head on and face a problem with an employee, even if it risks hurting their feelings - if for the good of the company. Often employees will even thank you for it after time goes by and they realise how badly they were behaving.

Mistake Number 3: They believe that they're now the boss.

Truth is: You will never be the person at the top. When you're a store manager - you have a general manager above you. When a general manager, you'll have a regional manager above you. After regional manager, they'll be a director, and above them, a managing director/CEO. Even the CEO, with the pressure of shareholder demands on top of him, will feel like he's working for someone else. At the end of the day - shareholders are passive, so they don't even appreciate being the true bosses!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SIMON OATES
Management & Leadership topics such as leadership development, leadership styles and educational related topics such as leadership masters are covered in a practical fashion on Leadership Expert Blog.

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