In the early days of a leadership position I have some intentionally bad leadership practices.
Here are a few examples:
I micromanage –
I do not like micromanaging and don’t want it done to me. In the early days of a new position I find it sometimes necessary. Not with everything, but I need to manage some things closer so I get a handle on where things are currently.
This will usually be around things like hiring, budgeting and expenses. It always involves anything directional that will set the course for some time and be harder to unravel later.
I miscommunicate –
This one I don’t do on purpose, but it has almost always become a natural fallout of new leadership for me. Too many things are happening too quickly to let everyone know everything they probably need or want to know.
This is unfortunate, but I have found it to be expected. I even tell our team to expect it. And invite them to ask questions any time they have one if they aren’t clear about something. The only alternative would be to move much slower than I know we need to move on major initiatives.
I frustrate people –
Again, I don’t do this intentionally. Yet, I know it will frustrate people when I don’t make all the decisions people expect or want me to make. Some decisions require me to wait before I can make them.
Yet, a team is looking for leadership. They’ve likely been waiting for the new leader. But strategic leaders know this takes time. This can be frustrating for those who are ready to do something and see results NOW.
I stall progress
I hate this one most. Personally, I like to move things forward. I like new ideas. Someone once said I never saw an idea I didn’t like. And that may be true. Let’s get this party started.
Yet, in the early days of the new leadership position I try to slow things down. Again, I’m trying to get my arms around all that is happening and the only way I can do that is to take time to listen and observe. That means we can’t start a lot of new initiatives and still be able to properly analyze what we are already doing.
If a new leader is not careful they can come in with a lot of energy and spur a lot of momentum but in the process run over people and caused them to feel what they are currently doing is devalued or unimportant.
In a long-term leadership position, most of these I would consider bad leadership practices. They should never continue long even when a leader is new. Of course, the obvious question is how long do I continue these practices. I wish I had an exact answer for that it really depends on the circumstances.
Generally, you’re probably talking about the first 3 to 6 months. It could be longer and it could be shorter in some cases. Certainly, in my experience, the longer an organization has been in decline or plateau the longer it will take to turn things around. Therefore, these practices may be needed for a longer period. I would suggest, however, they not be any longer than absolutely necessary. Get on with practicing good leadership – which is usually the opposite of each of these.