Why Do Some Managers Fail?

Not every management appointment is an automatic success, and many have to work at learning their craft over many years to become truly effective and efficient in the role.

There are many reasons why a manager is not a success: some are very complex, some very simple, some unique to that person while some are of a more general nature.

There are several key reasons why managers fail in their roles which are listed below:

  1. Performance problems: failing to meet business objectives due to too much time spent developing and promoting themselves, failing to deliver on promises or a lack of attention to the real priorities.
  2. Problems with relationships: being insensitive, manipulative, overly critical and showing that they cannot be trusted. This applies to peers, staff they are managing, customers and senior managers.
  3. Difficulty Changing: not learning from feedback and mistakes they have made. The lack of learning and reviewing past failures means they are unable to revise their approach, handle pressure and unable to meet new standards and requirements.
  4. Difficulty Building and leading a Team: poor management of direct reports and the inability to get work done through others seriously limits the value of that manager. This also includes the inability to select the right member of staff when recruiting.
  5. Too narrow focus: inability to work effectively or collaborate with people outside the Department or organisation. This also means failing to see the bigger picture especially if they are promoted and gain greater responsibility, perhaps over several functions rather than just one.

The trick here is to be brutally honest with yourself – failing that ask a trusted colleague to act as a “critical friend” and apply the five pointers above to your performance and approach BUT be prepared to deal with the information you receive!

Good Luck!

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