The Most Frequent Management / Leadership Mistakes

Tim Connor

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Over the years I have observed and worked with numerous managers, business owners and executives in a variety of industries worldwide and I have made a number of observations. There tend to be common consistent management mistakes and errors that are made routinely.

My latest sales book, You Call That Selling, 91 Mistakes Smart Salespeople Make, looks like it is headed for best seller status. It was recently picked up by a major publisher after several thousand copies have been sold in less than four months. As a result I am now working on a new book, 81 Challenges Managers Face. It will be in the bookstores in early 2007. Until then, I thought I would share a few of the most frequent mistakes managers make that can have a tremendous negative impact on their organization’s productivity and effectiveness.

The idea for this book was as a result of seeing continuous management mistakes that are made over and over again by the same managers that cost their organization’s time, resources, market share and profits.

No one is perfect. Show me a manager that never makes mistakes and I’ll show you a manager that is not trying to improve or reach their full potential as a leader or manager. No one makes right decisions every time. No one is infallible. No one has all negative or all positive traits. No one exercises good judgment one hundred percent of the time. The following list represents what I feel are the most common management mistakes that if ignored over time will have significant negative consequences on the performance of a department or organization.

1. A greater concern with WHO says it or doesn’t say it or who did it or who didn’t do it rather than with

WHAT is best for the organization and its future health and welfare.

2. Not really listening to employees or caring about their issues, concerns, needs or frustrations.

3. Letting their ego get in the way of good decisions, actions, choices or behaviors.

4. Arrogance (This one should be self explanatory).

5. Personal agendas that get in the way of overall the success of the organization or sabotage the effectiveness of employee performance.

6. Seeing people who deliver bad news as negative, poor team players or trouble makers.

7. Seeking only information that supports their own views, positions, values, perceptions opinions.

8. Seeing disagreement as disloyalty or tot encouraging disagreement.

9. Not talking with those who will be affected by decisions or who must carry them out before making them.

10. Taking the credit and giving the blame.

11. Lack of open, honest, clear and consistent communication.

12. Not communicating organizational direction and goals clearly and consistently.

13. Giving inadequate or inconsistent positive appreciation, feedback or reinforcement.

14. Inadequate or poor coaching.

15. Giving responsibility without authority.

16. Playing favorites with certain employees.

17. A lack of well-timed and effectively delivered negative feedback.

18. A lack of understanding that negative feedback is not to punish employees but to change behavior.

19. Inadequate or inconsistent training.

20. Not hiring strong candidates that can one day could be your replacement.

Obviously there are many more. The book will have 99. And yes there are more than 99 but generally speaking most of the critical management errors that cost sales, profits or productivity will fall within the above 20.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, Peace Of Mind, 91 Challenges Managers Face Today and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at , 704-895-1230 or visit his website at


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