10 career-threatening management myths

By Matthew Stibbe Matthew Stibbe
Stressed manager at a desk

Every manager has one goal: to foster a healthy, prospering work environment that brings employees together to get work done. Unfortunately, so many managers who have just been promoted or are looking to impress fall short. Why? Because they fall for one of the many damaging management myths.

When followed in the workplace, these 10 myths often create an environment of unmotivated employees and frustrated managers.

1. It’s easier for a manager to do the work than employees

Yes, managers may be able to complete a task faster and easier than their staff: that doesn’t mean they should do it though. You’ll have enough of your own responsibilities to take care of.

And remember, your boss had to delegate in order for you and others to learn. Delegation might mean things take a little longer to start with, but it also helps you develop a team capable of doing more.


2. Managers do nothing but delegate

Some managers fall into the trap of a different myth. They delegate, delegate and delegate some more. When employees see managers standing around talking, it lowers morale and creates resentment. Find a balance and do your fair share.

3. Managers have to be available for their staff—all day, every day

Managers do work long hours. That doesn’t mean they have to be available 24/7, during vacation or while sick. Like all employees, managers need a break away from work too. This way, they avoid burnout.

4. Managers know everything

smug man

Everyone knows that one person who believes he is the smartest person in the room. Don’t be ‘that guy’. Stay up to date with your industry and role, of course, but be sure to welcome the skills, talents and knowledge of other team members too.

5. Employees do what they’re told

Managers are often frustrated that they have to tell employees how to do something or what to do multiple times. But remember, employees are human.

Try to adapt to different learning methods. Some will be fine with verbal instructions; others might need written feedback or a demo to see a process in action for it to click.

6. Management is all about hitting targets

You might have some important goals to meet and metrics to monitor, but ‘hitting the numbers alone won't buy you job security. You have to think about how the numbers tie into company goals and how you can support your team to achieve their goals too.

7. Yelling is the key to a good manager’s success


Successful managers do not yell. Managers who find themselves raising their voice should ask themselves why.

  • Am I not providing staff with clear, concise instructions?
  • Are employees not doing what they are told?
  • Are they doing things completely wrong?

Consider carefully, then speak softly and ask the same questions of your team. Listen to the answers and calmly discuss how to make things better.

8. You are the lord and master of your employees

Employees are not indentured servants. They have lives, ambitions and responsibilities outside of the team. A good manager knows that she has to eliminate obstacles that prevent employees from doing their job and support them in achieving more. You have to fight against presenteeism by differentiating between results and mere effort.

Does an employee have a sick family member preventing them from being in the office? Then help them work from home and meet both their work and personal responsibilities.

9. It’s a manager’s responsibility to build good relationships with their staff

Being a manager is about team building, not friendship building. When managers focus only on building relationships, they neglect leadership duties.

On top of that, any relationship has to be two-sided. If someone truly doesn’t fit in the team and detracts from success and productivity, it’s not a failure to say they have to go. Communication is key.

10. Managers have a lot of authority

New managers often make the mistake of believing that the job comes with a lot of power. Sorry to be the one to debunk the myth. The new title, job and increase in pay don’t come with more authority: it comes with more responsibility. Leadership is different from just bossing people around.

So remember: keep your feet on the ground, your head down and your eye on the ball and you should be fine.

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