Three Mistakes for New Leaders to Avoid


New leaders are often in a challenging position of getting up to speed on the job while making important decisions for the companies near- and long-term success throughout the learning process. New leaders have to balance learning, developing a strategy, and executing. These items are difficult for anyone to juggle simultaneously, and it can be nearly impossible to do all three well when starting in a new role. New leaders may not be given their priorities or areas of focus and should develop their own and confirm their understanding of their priorities. New leaders can look out for common pitfalls when prioritizing their new workloads, helping ensure that their first 90-days and beyond are successful.

  1. Making quick decisions about coworkers

In a rush to hit the ground running, it can often put leaders in a position where they feel the need to quickly appraise people on their team. However, if these evaluations are based on one-on-one meetings or past performance reviews, they might be more subjective than beneficial. Those are valuable elements of learning about how a person has performed and how they communicate, but it isn’t the whole picture. Suppose you incorporate personality assessment results into your analysis. In that case, you will have a better idea about what the employee is capable of and the tasks they are likely to succeed at based on actual employee-specific data.

  1. Ignoring the short-term priorities

While new leaders may be hired to help shape the organization’s path and develop new strategies, they cannot ignore the present problems and existing business. If you want to help shape a future, you need to ensure the organization has one. Look at the short-term priorities of the business and what is broken, and focus there first. Being able to handle the current flow and problems within the company will also demonstrate critical competencies, develop trust, and show senior leaders or Board members that you’re capable of handling the current business and ready to take the company to the next level.

  1. Not identifying organizational execution weaknesses

New leaders need to identify all of the parties within the organization that will be drivers of executing new strategies. Understanding the parties involved will help you better handle your existing infrastructure’s ability to be able to change and support a new model.  For example, a fantastic new product won’t quickly get off the ground without a defined sales and distribution mechanism.