What’s the difference between immature managers and those who have matured? The other day I found myself in conversation with a few friends about common mistakes we made as new managers. We talked about misconceptions we shared and unrealistic expectations we put on subordinates. The discussion evolved to considering how to help new managers avoid some of the same mistakes. With that in mind, here’s a list of 10 differences in thinking between an immature manager and a mature leader.

10 Assumptions Made by Immature Managers

Immature Manager Mature Leader
Expects subordinates to be adults and just do their job. They shouldn’t need supervision. Understands everyone needs some direction and supplies it as needed.
Builds silos by pointing fingers, blaming others, and taking a “That’s not my job” stance. Tears down silos through cross-training, group participation, and looking at the whole not only the parts.
Micromanages and distrusts direct reports. Gives direction, reviews activities, and follows up on results. Gives trust as it is earned.
Plans actions without consulting others. Involves the team in action plans. Creates team ownership of initiatives.
Unwilling or afraid to try new things. Open to learning and reinventing self and role.
Throws new people into the deep end. Onboards and trains new hires.
Doesn’t invest time in people development and training. Knows people are the most important commodity and believes in continuous development.
Takes credit for successes. Shares credit and gives recognition to the team.
Territorial to the extreme, sees direct reports as a threat. Shares the turf, looks for and develops his or her replacement.
Plays politics, assigns blame, and undercuts others. Supports others, builds teams, and develops connections within the entire organization.

Are you a Mature Leader?

I apologize to the teams I managed early in my career. I was an immature manager. At one time or another I made every immature management mistake that could be made and invented a few. As my management experience progressed, I slowly moved from immature to mature manager one thought process at a time, and I’m not done yet. Developing into a mature leader isn’t a snap your fingers overnight epiphany—it’s a process. For most the process is ongoing. The majority of managers aren’t totally mature or immature. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. What are your strong points as well as your weak points? What makes you an immature manager? Once you’ve identified your blind spots, the next step is to shine a light on them.

A Challenge

Pick one management assumption to improve over the next 30 days. Write it down, make it your screen saver, post it over your work area, put it on a sticky note and place on your backpack. Look at it every day and then act it on it. Critique yourself when you fall into old ways. Look for opportunities to try the new. Be the change. Lead the way.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a  management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash