Saying how troubled the business is that you’ve just taken over. That way, if your results are poor, it’s not your fault, because you inherited a dog. And if the results are good, you’ve been successful in the face of almost-impossible circumstances. People see through this.
Talking badly about people who quit. Like
talking badly about the business you’ve just taken over, this is
another transparent means to manage your ego. But this only serves to
make your team wonder what you might say about them one day. And while
being gracious to departing colleagues might seem obvious, you’d be
amazed how often “Well, I was just about to fire him anyway” is said,
even at the most senior levels.
Immediately replacing the old team with “your” team,
and particularly a team that looks and sounds a lot like you. There’s
comfort in choosing everyone on your team, all of whom then “owe” you
for their jobs. But the best business strategies can emerge out of
discomfort, and that can mean having people on your team whom you may
not particularly want to have to your home for dinner.
Getting detached from the clients.
Customers and clients are messy. It can be very easy to spend more time
away from them. PowerPoint slides and spreadsheets deliver much crisper
answers than what you can hear from an actual person.
“Taking the hill” on your strategy without first getting buy-in from the team.
The days of decreeing a strategy and then telling folks to execute on
it are fading in the rear-view mirror. And that’s a good thing, because a
strategy that doesn’t incorporate what your team and customers can tell
you will almost certainly be sub-optimal. I’ve seen more than one
manager decree a not-well-thought-out strategy and have his team
essentially wait him out; after all, the next boss will be announced
Not recognizing that your words carry more weight than they used to. Once
you’re in management, your words (and your mood and your tone) are
subject to interpretation by those who can be impacted by them. A poorly
thought-out comment or joke can cause significant unintended anxiety.