10 Mistakes of First-Time Managers and How to Avoid Them

Darja Gutnick
6 min readApr 13, 2022

Got promoted to manage a team? Buckle up — you’re in for a ride! Most managers make painful mistakes when starting out, and they can hurt you and your team. Ouch.

We teamed up with The Female Factor to host a masterclass to review common mistakes that first-time managers make when they start out and what you can do to not fall into those traps.

When it’s your first time leading a team, you’ll definitely face some real challenges. We asked our community and the hive mind and came out with a list of the top 10 first-time manager mistakes.

1. Skipping 1:1’s to get work done

When you skip 1:1’s for the sake of productivity, you might get results in the short term. But actually, you’re depleting your team’s trust and commitment levels, and missing a great chance to help them grow. Don’t skip these! You want to make sure that you follow through on your commitment to the team, build trust, and make their development a priority.

Check out our AI leadership coach for more resources on how to build trust with your team.

👉 Reliability Reminders

👉 The Trust Bank

2. Letting your ego get in the way

You want to do a great job and be a strong leader. And at first, you might be nervous that someone will notice that you’re not perfect. But when you try to hide your learning process, it just teaches your team that making mistakes is not okay. It can help to think of yourself as a “servant leader.” What can you do today to support your team? Your actions and the final result are more important than your image, or who gets the credit.

Check out our AI leadership coach for more resources on how to avoid perfectionism & build a no-ego culture:

👉 Leave Perfectionism at the Door

👉 The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

Tip: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

3. Telling your team to figure it out for themselves



Darja Gutnick

Co-founder, CEO at Bunch — Helping future leaders grow; bookworm, psychologist and relentless optimist. Grow | Inspire | Stay humble