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3 Common Reasons New Managers Fail To Become Great Leaders

Life can be very tiring, especially if you have a family. From organizing the children for school, dealing with traffic, coping with their attitude at times, helping out with homework, WoW! Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming.

But what is even worse, having to deal with a lousy manager on top of your hectic personal life? You know the manager who has a terrible attitude, making your life at work tough and you feeling demotivating and un-inspire every day to go to work. But as I get more knowledgeable about management and Leadership, I sympathize with these managers who are thrust into a position without any training, self-development, or mentorship.

Leadership requires a different type of mindset, and many people who are promoted to a “Leadership” position are not ready and equip with the knowledge to lead. According to the Asia Pacific, leading people is one of the most demanding yet rewarding skills set you can have. Many newly promoted managers and supervisors failed to transit from a high-performance individual into a capable team lead. Alarmingly, the latest Survey by CareerBuilder shows that close to 60% of new managers and supervisors receive no formal management training and are ill-prepared for the unique challenges that come along with being a new leader.

Commonly cited stats estimate that about 60% of newly promoted managers fail within the first year (Ashkenas, 2015), pointing to a critical miscalculation in the decision process for selecting who is ready for “next level” management. As a result, here are 3 common reasons new managers fail to become great leaders.

Negative self-talk

When it comes to the worst things for our mental health, constant negativity is definitely one of them, especially if you are managing or leading people. When it comes to thoughts about yourself, your self-image serves as a sieve, filtering every experience and interaction while creating a running inner dialogue. You talk to yourself regularly about all of your experiences, what you think about yourself and the way you see others. This ongoing, internal dialogue is your “self-talk,” and it goes with you everywhere. When these private conversations are positive, they support you and work in your best interest. When they’re negative, they’re destructive and demoralizing, and as a result, it impedes your leadership abilities.

Justifying your behavior and blaming others

Do you find it hard to admit when you’re wrong? I read an article where the author shared his experience when he heard a leader blaming everyone else for the way he was acting: “I sat there listening to this poor justification for unacceptable behavior thinking to myself: The excuses that people come up with never cease to amaze me.” but that the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.

The feeling of discomfort caused by performing an action that is discrepant from one’s self-concept, cognitive dissonance always produces discomfort, and in response, many people try to reduce it by blaming others for their actions. There’s no I in team, and leadership is all about building and creating an environment that allows their people to maximize their full potential while in the process, helping the company achieve its objectives.

Lacking Emotional Intelligence

For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed, a leader who shouts at his team when they are under stress or a leader who stays in control and calmly assesses the situation? Leaders with self-control remain calm and clear-headed while under pressure or during a crisis and maintain emotional balance. Leadership is demanding, and the people who can juggle multiple demands, but remain focused on a group’s goals are the ones who are likely to succeed.

When you enter into the realm of leadership, you are in the business of people. Inspiring and motivating people to get things done. You lead by example, and you are comfortable with the uncertainty that leadership can bring, and as such, you are flexible in adapting to new challenges and nimble in adjusting to sudden change.

Leaders who have high standards not only for themselves but for others continually learn how to improve performance, along with their team. They see opportunities in situations where others would see a setback and lead others positively, from diverse backgrounds and cultures to create an atmosphere of respect, helpfulness, and cooperation.

Leadership is about people, and if you want to become an effective leader, you must draw others into an active commitment to the team’s effort and build a spirit of positive relationships and create a sense of purpose beyond the day-to-day tasks of your people.


About Gifford Thomas

I am the founder of Leadership First and the author of The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible. At Leadership First, we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles to inspire our 122,000+ community of leaders to believe in the impossible, while creating an environment free from toxic, fearful and intimidating leadership. We believe everyone can and should enjoy their work, but it must start with the leadership leading by example. Follow our community of leaders HERE, and let's change the leadership status quo to help inspire and motivate our leaders to make a difference and create an organization their people will love. 

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