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New Leaders: 7 Pitfalls to Avoid

Starting a new role is never easy. Often new leaders set themselves up for failure by simply falling into the common traps associated with taking on a new role of leadership.



Here are 7 pitfalls to avoid when taking on a leadership role:


Setting Unrealistic Expectations

The all-too-human desire to impress one’s higher authority often pressures new leaders to create unrealistic expectations. Be sure your work targets and goals are built around the market and the company’s position.

Analysis Paralysis

While is very good to be prudent, overly cautious behavior eats up time and sets the example of risk aversion. By the time you find the perfect answer, the problem has likely spiraled out of control or the opportunity may have been missed.

Being the “Know It All”

Never believe you have all the answers. In a new role, you likely don’t know what you don’t know… A “know it all” attitude may cause you to alienate your colleagues and employees. New leaders should spend more time listening than talking; observing rather than jumping to conclusions; inviting input.

Living in the Past

Don’t keep bringing up the past and dwelling on “what we did at my former company…” Even if you don’t disenfranchise people, you will certainly annoy them if you spend too much time on the past. An occasional example of a concept that might work is fine, just use the examples sparingly.

Lack of the Truth

The higher you go in the organization, the less likely other people are to give you honest feedback. Insulation at the top of a company can prevent leaders from seeing a clear reflection in the mirror. Constantly seek honest feedback.

Picking the Wrong Battles

Know which battle to invest in for an early “win.” Folks are watching to see how you do. This first problem solving quest will likely label you for quite some time. Choose wisely.

Dissing Your Predecessor

Always be respectful and sensitive to your predecessor, their position and tenure. Regardless of how you feel. You do not earn your reputation by tarnishing someone else's. You earn it by your own performance.

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