How to avoid being a terrible manager

By on April 11, 2013

Recent headlines have been full of stories about poor leaders bringing down business.  So, what should line managers – who are coming through the ranks – do to avoid the ‘traps’ of poor management, asks Graham Scrivener.

Don’t believe that simply being a manager gives you authority. 

  • Get carried away and consumed by power just because you’ve been promoted is guaranteed to make you a poor leader.
  • Be wary of believing that your job is to ‘carry out’ rather than to create

Don’t try to get too much done.

  • Slow down.
  • Being busy doesn’t make you look more important.

Don’t waste time focusing too much on the urgent but low value tasks.

  • Try not to put off important tasks that you may hate doing but that are important to the business.

Poor delegation skills are the hallmark of a bad manager.

  • Trust your team to do it themselves.

 POor mangers often keep hold of tasks they should give away, other times they worry that it won’t be done right.

 Be aware of the people you manage.

  •  That begins with hiring the right people for your team, which is always tricky.
  •  But once you’ve found the right people, make sure you keep incentivising your strong performers.
  • Or, as the old adage goes, ‘Don’t feed the chickens but starve the eagles’.

Never take credit for your team’s success.

  • Try to avoid managing by results only.
  • And when demanding improvement, offer support too.

Ask for feedback.

  • It’s not a sign of weakness.
  •  By reaching out to your team and asking for feedback and coaching, you are more likely to spot any upcoming challenges before they become a problem.

Move beyond the individual when managing your team.

  • For example, you may now have to manage your former peers.
  • But they won’t thank you in the long run if you focus on maintaining those relationships above and beyond developing the team as a unit.


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