What mistakes are you making as young managers?

When you are at the beginning of your career and everything is moving up and forward. There are no major mistakes to mar your path, reduce your willingness to take risks, and you think your career will go on like this for the next 35 years. Blind enthusiasm will only get you so far and then you’ll make that big career mistake.

Most of us are lucky enough to have the time needed to build skills slowly through experience. Smart mangers let their peers influence and motivate them. And they learn how to avoid the following mistakes.

  1. I’m On Top

The biggest mistake young managers make is to believe that they are a ‘one man act.’ They are intoxicated by power and success without realizing that they are just a member of the team. In many ways the manager is no more valuable than the chef, or hostess at the front.

This can be especially true if there is a rapport with one of the owners, and the manager feels like they have information and an ‘in’ that the general manger doesn’t have. It may go the other way. There is a working relationship with the general manager that appears to exclude the kitchen manager and bar staff.

  1. Too Busy To Do My Job

As responsibility grows it can seem mundane to focus on the day to day tasks that make the restaurant run. Opening and closing may seem to be ‘beneath’ you now. What happens next? You pay less attention to these jobs, or pass them off to someone else.

Avoiding your duties forced others to pick up the slack. Or your attitude may provoke resentment from other team members, like the kitchen manager who has been a key component of the restaurant’s success for 10 years and seen three young managers leave before you.

  1. I Reacted instead of Responded

This can take many forms.

  • Anger at people who are trying to sabotage your plans
  • Resentment at other employees who don’t understand the importance of your job.
  • Trying to seek favor and manipulate, causing you to fracture the team.
  • Starting to gossip, or support toxic communication in the workplace.
  1. Over estimating

There are several things you can over estimate:

  • Influence
  • Power
  • Support of those higher up
  • The importance and influence of your position
  • The ‘understanding’ you expect when the weekly till comes up $500 short, and you can’t track the loss because you are not sure who closed the restaurant.

What happens next can be devastating for a new manager. What happens most often is being told to get back to your job, stop causing problems, or leave.

If you are lucky, there is a senior manager trying to help mentor you. Smart professionals take the help and build alliances. They can help you keep your feet on the ground and keep focused. If you don’t have a mentor then find one.

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