Like it or not, some predictable mistakes are inevitable as a manager. Even knowing what they are in advance, you are still likely to make them anyway. The faster you learn to avoid becoming a chronic repeat offenders with regard to the following, the better:
1. You will fail to delegate matters better left to your subordinates; so you will overwork.
2. You will unnecessarily micromanage some things others could have done quite well without you. They are likely to be irritated.
3. You will fail to arrange your priorities correctly, leaving something really important left undone.
4. You will fail to keep your boss sufficiently informed about something that matters. She or he will be unhappy.
5. You will fail to make a decision you should have made and there will be negative consequences.
6. You will make at least one, if not more, failed attempts to please everyone.
7. You will attempt to answer some questions, or violate a confidence, when silence or “I don’t know” would have been the better choice.
8. You will get beyond your managerial competence at least a few times.
9. You will act on a false assumption with negative consequences.
10. You will pull your punches – that is, be less than candid – with more than one subordinate and superior. You will not like yourself afterwards
Irish explorer Robert McClure believed that “adventure equals risk plus purpose”. There is simply no way to get better at being a manager than through experience. Moreover, it is often our mistakes that teach us the most powerful lessons. Perhaps, in the end, you may conclude that a manager’s job is not for you. In that case, it is certainly OK – if not profoundly wise from a professional, psychological, and physiological perspective – to opt out for some other professional endeavor. But you will not know till you have tried!