5 Tragic Blunders of the Inexperienced

Blunder #1: Getting lost in their own work.

Drive sabotages inexperienced leaders when they go into heads-down mode.

Leaders often have work responsibilities beyond leadership. Their job includes being part of the team as well as leading the team. Inexperienced leaders lose sight of others and the big picture. Reality sneaks up and smacks them later.


  1. Adopt a morning ritual that includes greeting everyone in the morning. You came in early and went right to work and forgot to connect.
  2. Schedule connection time like lunch or coffee.
  3. Go on a gratitude walk in the afternoon.



Blunder #2: Minimizing the difficulty of doing things they haven’t done.

There’s almost always more to a job than you think, especially when you’ve never done it before.

When you minimize difficulties, you offend those who are actually doing it.


  1. Never minimize. Ask experienced team members to explain what it takes to get the job done. 
  2. Become accountable to an experienced leader.

Blunder #3: Not asking for help.

You prefer giving help, but receiving help lets others know they matter.


Self-confidence and trust are key factors in asking for help.

Blunder #4: Getting stuck in negative patterns.

Pattern recognition is a skill of experienced leaders that requires insight, input, and reflection. Quickly moving from one project to the next – without input and reflection – almost always produces self-defeating patterns. You wrongly think you understand the causes of success or failure.


  1. Perform after action reviews. What worked? What didn’t? Why?
  2. Keep a personal journal.

Blunder #5: Feeling picked on and misunderstood.

The reason people don’t know you is you close them out. It’s safer to remain distant, but the consequences often short-circuit success.


  1. Show interest in others.
  2. Leave a little of yourself in conversations. Talk about intentions and aspirations, for example.
  3. Connect with mentors.

What blunders do inexperienced leaders fall into? 

How might inexperienced leaders avoid common blunders?