It’s been a long time since I first became a manager, but I remember the experience clearly because it was back when you simply got thrown into a management role and were expected to learn while doing it — the business equivalent of learning to swim by jumping in the deep end of the pool.
Needless to say, this isn’t the best way to produce good managers. It wasn’t good then, and it certainly isn’t good now. I’m glad I have solid managerial instincts and survived.
That’s why this article over at our sister website ERE is such a good one — Rookie Mistakes That Even Tenured Managers Make, and How to Avoid Them! — because all too many of us have been there and done that.
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I had my first shot at management last year, and like every newly promoted doe-eyed employee I was on a quest to be the best manager ever! However, I had no management experience and no playbook as to how I was going to go about winning over my team.
I went through my mental Rolodex of previous bosses to draw inspiration; after all, the one benefit to the amount of job-hopping that I have had is that I have met quite a few characters along the way. I have had some great mentors in the past, and inevitably, some not-so-great ones. One mentor comes to mind who I have now followed to three different roles and honestly would follow her just about anywhere. She believes in me enough to do anything to help me be successful (Best Boss Ever — yes I still feel the need to brown-nose her).
But as I examined some of my other supervisors, I devised a list, or manager playbook of rookie mistakes that I vowed never to repeat. Below I’ll walk through some of the things I have seen personally. The stories you are about to read are true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”