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5 Mistakes That Can Sink a Good Boss

a good boss
five mistakes that can sink a good boss


Running a successful business means wearing many hats, including the “good boss” hat. If you find yourself frustrated with your employees’ performance, see if you’re making one of these five mistakes.


If you own a company or manage a department, part of the reason you’ve come this far is because you’re good at what you do. But inspiring the people who work for you to give their best efforts is another skill altogether. It’s hard to complete tasks well and on time if your staff isn’t on the same page with you, or if they don’t share your commitment to success.


Are you frustrated by employees who don’t perform as well as expected? It may be time to take a look at your leadership style.


Here are five common beliefs that may be interfering with your effectiveness as a boss.


  1. Good new hires will know how to do the job right out of the blocks.

Hiring a competent person is only the first step. Even if the new person arrives already accomplished in his field, spend time with him so he can get to know your approach and share your vision. No matter what position he occupies, help him become attuned to your strategic plan. It takes time, but the payoff is huge.


  1. No one else can do the job as well as I can.

As your organization grows, you’ll be adding people below you. Why did you hire them if not to help lighten your load, so you can focus on what’s most important? (What’s important may even include your own improved quality of life.) Surround yourself with good people, then give them a chance to show they can handle the responsibility. Step back and let them take some of the weight off your shoulders.

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  1. If I tell them once, they should be good to go.

Not necessarily. Part of the job of a manager is to provide ongoing feedback. Don’t limit this to just once a year during performance reviews: help your people understand how they can do a better job now. Helping them grow and develop increases their value in the workplace, and more importantly, to your company.


  1. I’m too busy to plan – I need to do!

As a good boss, do you ever feel as if you spend your whole day at work just responding to the biggest crisis? Take time to sit down and map out a strategy for the future. Planning may seem like a luxury when you have so much on your plate already, but if you don’t invest time now, you’ll find yourself operating in perpetual crisis mode later – which, as everyone knows, is a sure recipe for burnout. Don’t try to muscle your way through every issue that faces you. Think before you execute (or delegate the execution to others).


  1. My people know they are doing a good job. I don’t have to tell them.

One of the biggest mistakes a good boss can make is failing to recognize employees’ successes and only pointing out their faults. Think about it – do you perform better when you know you’re appreciated, or when you’re only chastised for your shortcomings? Letting people know you’re pleased with their achievements will encourage them to continue striving to do good work. It’s human nature!

Coaching Call to Action

Would you rate yourself as an inspiring leader with your people giving their best?  If not, choose one or two changes from the above list that will free you and your employees to do the job each of you is supposed to be doing.

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Andrea Novakowski is an executive and personal coach who has been helping clients align their professional goals with their personal values since 1997. Contact her at or visit her web site at


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