The 10 most common mistakes made by new managers – and how to avoid them

Practical solutions for successful leadership

The 10 most common mistakes made by new managers - and how to avoid them

Whether you are managing your first project, a small team, or an entire company, the transition to a management position is an exciting but also challenging phase. In addition to all the challenges that every management position entails, new managers must first develop their management style and learn how to deal with their team. This can lead to mistakes, especially in the first few years, which can affect not only their performance but also that of their team. Fortunately, some tools and strategies can help you avoid these pitfalls and be successful right from the start. We present the 10 most common mistakes and show you how to overcome them

1. Lack of a clear vision

Without a clear vision, teams do not know which direction to take and what exactly is expected of them. However, setting this direction and at the same time aligning it with the corporate strategy is a task for every manager. Tools such as a balanced scorecard can help to provide employees with clear expectations and goals. This helps new managers to present their strategy, link it to performance indicators, and thus communicate a clear vision. In an agile environment, in particular, a method such as OKR can also help to achieve goals and motivate employees to show a high level of commitment.

2. Micromanaging and not delegating

As a new manager, you still have to prove yourself, which is why many new managers are afraid of making mistakes and do not fully trust their employees. On the one hand, this results in them finding it difficult to delegate tasks and preferring to do everything themselves. On the other hand, it tempts many young managers to micromanage and exert too much control over their team. A combination that has a demotivating effect on many employees and at the same time places a huge additional burden on the manager.
To be able to let go a little and at the same time not feel like everything is out of your hands, we recommend using a task management system. Kanban boards, for example, help you to distribute tasks and at the same time monitor progress at all times without falling into micromanagement. This takes the pressure off both the manager and the team.

3. Too many promises and too few results

Especially in a new management position, you are highly motivated and want to reach equally high with the team. It can therefore quickly happen that you promise more than you can ultimately deliver. Unfortunately, you can quickly lose the trust of the team in this way, which in turn can make collaboration difficult or lead to high staff turnover. Especially when new employees are hired and they realize that promises are not kept, this can lead to major difficulties in today’s job market.
It is therefore important to take a step back, be honest with yourself, and communicate realistically and transparently. Only make promises that you are sure you can keep. This will show your team that they can rely on you.

4. Lack of decision-making ability and inconsistent communication

Especially when you are in your first management position, you can be uncertain when making decisions without the relevant experience. However, this should not result in decisions that are regularly made being taken back or not being trusted to make decisions at all. While it is understandable that managers are also insecure, your team cannot learn to trust you in this way.
The way they communicate can also be inconsistent. If they have not yet found their preferred leadership style, new managers often vacillate between different leadership styles, causing uncertainty among their team. We therefore recommend that you always remain authentic, admit mistakes, and speak openly with your new team. Regular updates also help to keep your team up to date.
Making clear decisions is also easier as a new manager if you have access to data, reports, analyses, and forecasts. A business intelligence solution or management information system can provide you with this data to help you make informed decisions. Integrated communication functions also help you to communicate the decisions made and immediately translate them into action.

5. Not learning from feedback and mistakes

Open communication also helps managers to continuously develop themselves and their teamwork. As a new manager in particular, you are dependent on feedback from your team and should respond openly to suggestions. With a great deal of empathy, you can also learn to understand the needs and concerns of a team and respond to them. In this way, you can continue to develop. It also helps if you see mistakes as important experiences from which you can learn, as mistakes are inevitable in the long run. However, it is important not to repeat a mistake once it has been made.
In project management, lessons learned and a risk management system can help with this. Both help to learn from past mistakes and to recognize future difficulties at an early stage.

6. Lack of recognition and appreciation

To motivate employees, it is important to show them recognition and appreciation. In the hectic day-to-day work of a manager, however, this can quickly be neglected and not every young manager is used to praising others. Especially if your team or individual team members have performed particularly well, a lack of recognition can lead to frustration.
Data analysis can also be a valuable support in this regard, as it allows you to monitor performance indicators and thus make successes visible. Clear CRM sales figures, high target achievement in your balanced scorecard or OKR, and timely project milestones provide data that lets you easily recognize and appreciate your team’s performance.

7. Overloading the team

As a manager, you are also responsible for ensuring that your team is doing well. When taking on this task for the first time, you might overload your team due to inexperience. This could be because you’re unfamiliar with their workload limits and working speeds, and some team members may hesitate to say ‘no’. It can also be because you are not sufficiently familiar with individual task areas, so you cannot estimate the workload and demand too much work. Regardless of the reason for the overload – as a manager, it is important to recognize the signs of this at an early stage and talk about it.
To prevent overload from occurring in the first place, a task management, project management or portfolio management system can help to prioritize projects or tasks and deploy resources efficiently. If the necessary experience in the individual areas of work is still lacking, it also helps to ask team members to estimate how much time they need to complete individual tasks.

8. Avoid difficult conversations and poor conflict resolution

New managers often shy away from difficult conversations, which can lead to unresolved issues and tensions within the team. Whether it’s problematic team dynamics, performance issues, or conflict, if these difficulties are not addressed and resolved, they could be in the future. It is therefore important that new managers dare to address such issues openly, even if it is uncomfortable.
In the case of performance problems in particular, it is a good idea to include facts in the conversation to help find a positive solution. For example, use software that provides you with such data.

9. Neglecting further development

Both the development of your team and your further development should be a priority for a manager to remain successful and, above all, adaptable in the future. However, both not only cost money but also time, which is not available in abundance, especially for a new manager who wants to prove themselves. It is therefore important to keep a constant eye on further development, for example through lessons learned or sprint retrospectives in projects. Major further training should also be considered, for example by planning it into the strategy and including it in the balanced scorecard as a trackable development goal.

10. Focus on short-term success

The last mistake that we very often encounter is focusing on short-term success. Young managers first have to prove that they are suitable for the job and often try to achieve quick success. This could be, for example, increased sales figures within a short period or a project that is completed very quickly. While these are great successes, it is also important to look at the long term. For example, a short-term increase in sales figures may be due to a campaign that subsequently does the company more harm than good. The quick completion of a project cannot be repeated because the team was completely overloaded during the implementation of the project. So as important as short-term successes are, we recommend good strategic planning with a balanced scorecard and strategic portfolio management for a long-term perspective and sustainable success.


Stepping into a leadership position comes with many challenges, but with the right strategies and tools, new leaders can avoid common mistakes and lead their teams successfully. By communicating a clear vision, delegating effectively, setting realistic expectations, learning from feedback and mistakes, and prioritizing the development of your team and yourself, you will lay the foundation for sustainable and successful leadership. If you also remain authentic, encourage open communication, and try to understand the needs of your team, a successful career as a manager is open to you.

The myPARM CorporateNavigator offers comprehensive functions that support new managers in mastering these challenges. With its balanced scorecard, strategic portfolio management, risk and opportunity management, and integrated communication and task management tools, myPARM CorporateNavigator helps you make informed decisions, set clear goals, and ensure the success of your team. Use this holistic solution to strengthen your leadership skills and develop your company strategically.

Find out more about the myPARM CorporateNavigator leadership software:

Would you like to get to know myPARM CorporateNavigator in a demo presentation? Then make an appointment with us right away!

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