Three common mistakes that side-track new leaders

Dorothy Lazovik

You have just stepped into a new role or been asked to lead a major project. You’re excited and you want to make an exceptional first impression. Your first 30 days whiz by and you feel like you’re lacking the impact you had hoped for. I have found from my own corporate experience and from working with leaders over the past ten years that there are three common mistakes that get new leaders side-tracked.

Mistake #1Taking direction from everyone around you.
You are new in your role, anxious to make a good impression, and willing to take advice from others. Getting and taking advice can be beneficial but only if it’s from someone who has created the success that you desire to create.

It is important for you to know who you are and what you stand for so you can be selective about what and who you are willing to listen to. If the person giving advice is where you want to be and they also align with your values, great! If not, thank them and go find someone that is.

Seek to surround yourself with people that will champion you. It is critical when you are in a new position and establishing yourself as a new leader.

Solution: Listen to the people that are like-minded and who are where you want to be.

Mistake #2Thinking you need to be like the leader before you.
Clients regularly express concern in how to “be the new leader” when the previous boss was so well liked. The previous leader was successful because he/she did what worked for them. It is critical for you to establish your leadership brand and be clear what works for you.

Getting clarity comes from knowing who you really are and how you want to be known. Acting from your place of truth will win people over because it is what got you where you are.

You will be making changes and not everyone is comfortable with change. When you introduce change to your team, define the expectations and ask for their feedback. Let them know you are willing to make adjustments based on what they did, not on the fact that things have always been done a certain way. Being clear goes a long way for you and for the team you are leading.

Solution: Be clear about who you are and engage with what works best for you to create success. Being authentic will earn you respect and may even make you likeable!


Mistake #3Get into the habit of doing instead of leading.
Doing is comfortable though it is not a place you can lead from. You have been acknowledged for your great work with your new role so now it is important to step outside your comfort zone to stretch yourself.

A good place to start is having a conversation with your boss to understand expectations and objectives. Ask for the bigger vision so you are able to share that with your team. Don’t forget to ask for any advice he/she can give you to succeed in your new role.

Solution: Stop doing and lead. Decide how you want to be as a leader.  Define your brand to build your confidence in stepping outside your comfort zone. Look at your list of things to do and decide which ones are absolutely yours, then delegate the rest.

Create a brand that is authentic and establishes you as a leader. Take the time to speak with your boss to set the path. Get to know your team so you can inspire and motivate. Make sure to block time to plan so you are delegating and not doing.

Align yourself with what matters most to you. Live your brand fully expressed with intention and purpose to play bigger!


Reprinted with the permission of Dorothy Lazovik, a sought-after Personal Brand Strategist, Transformational Leadership Trainer, Executive Coach, and Speaker who empowers leaders to be the best version of themselves: taking charge of how they show up and confidently positioning their value. She works with companies and in the university environments who are serious about putting people first. She believes who you are ‘being’ comes before what you are doing; when the order shifts, the results are extraordinary.  For more information, visit www.authenticleadersedge.com/


How can leaders play their part in maximising well...

Andrea Marlan

Wellness solutions are not a business expense and it’s time that we opt for a mindset shift and see the real value derived from wellness programs when embedded into organisational DNA. This year, wellness and wellbeing is more topical than ever before. The onus is being placed on business leaders to be the leaders of change and pivot their business in accordance with the changing times. With this, will come great benefit to not only workers wellbeing, but by consequence - the business’ bottom line.

Read more


Why older workers are now in demand or should be.....

Drake Marketing

When was the last time you considered someone in the 50+ age group for a position in your company? There have been countless reports, research studies and statistics that indicate a huge demographic shift is taking place in the workforce. Since the 1960s, there has been a decline of births that will create a shortage of younger candidates entering the labour market.

Read more


How to reject a job offer (with examples)

Drake Editorial

You’ve gotten through the job interview stage, but what happens when the job doesn’t align with your career goals or salary expectations? Whether you are looking to counteroffer or are in the position of being offered multiple opportunities, sometimes it’s necessary to decline an offer.   

Read more


Common Resume Blunders - Career Advice

Drake Editorial

Make sure your resume is top-notch by avoiding these 10 resume blunders!

Read more


Putting Recruitment Agencies to Work for You - Car...

Drake Editorial

What a lot of job seekers do not realise is that using the services of a recruitment agency doesn’t cost them a thing; it is the client who pays an agency to help them recruit and select the most qualified candidates. At no cost to you, recruitment agencies can be a very useful avenue to finding a great job.

Read more


What does our 2023 talent market look like going f...

Drake Editorial

If someone had told us five years ago, candidates would be expecting to be able to work from home and wear trackie pants in meetings in 2023 - there is no way we would have believed them.
If the same person told us that some jobs would be paying upwards of 30 per cent more than usual just to secure talent, we’d still be in disbelief.

Read more