7 Dumb Mistakes New Leaders Make That You Must Avoid

Remember when you were just a twig on the leadership tree. You ached to bear fruit. You admired how the big branches did big things while you secretly shivered.

Ambition and fear cause new leaders to make unnecessary mistakes.

The most common source of mistakes in management decisions is the emphasis on finding the right answer rather than the right question.

7 Dumb mistakes new leaders make:

Mistake #1. Not noticing stress in others because you’re stressed out.

Your arrival stresses others. The stress you feel, others feel too.


  1. Realize your passion may seem pushy to others.
  2. Practice active listening.
  3. Notice people’s energy.
Protect yourself from stress: Some parts of your brain shrink under the influence of prolonged stress. Image of a stressed child.

Mistake #2. Trying to grow big fruit fast. Win small – win often.


  1. Build confidence by designing goals and milestones WITH team members.
  2. Hold yourself and others accountable.
  3. Honor incremental progress.

Mistake #3. Being gullible.

Don’t believe everything you’re told. People have personal agendas.


  1. Have conversations with fringe-people.
  2. Show up on the front line and ask questions.
  3. Reflect on the impact of requests and input. What do people want?

Mistake #4. Falling prey to leafy branches.

Some branches grow real fruit and some grow showy leaves.


  1. Study up on the difference between introverts and extroverts.
  2. Notice who talks about things they plan to do and who reports what they are actually doing.
  3. Establish and monitor performance metrics.
Image of a kangaroo with boxing gloves.

Mistake #5. Corroding trust by micromanaging.

Competent people resent being treated like novices. Being a novice isn’t permission to treat others like idiots.


  1. Listen to teammate’s life stories. Pay attention to experience levels.
  2. Notice your team’s go-to people. Trust people who are trusted by others.
  3. Establish a rhythm for one-on-ones.

#6. Coming off like a know-it-all.

Don’t resist feedback. Seek it.

  1. Remind yourself that most people are trying to help.
  2. Practice gratitude and curiosity when receiving feedback.
  3. Seek multiple options when pursuing suggestions. Don’t let people expect you to do everything they suggest.

Bonus mistake #7: Seeming disinterested in people because you’re so busy.

What mistakes do you see new leaders making?

The Top 4 Mistakes Busy Leaders Make – Leadership Freak

An Actionable Solution to the Mistakes Leaders Make – Leadership Freak

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