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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a professional speaker and CEO of Contagious Companies, a training and consulting firm that develops better leaders and trains managers how to become better leaders.

We all make mistakes, but making many of these 15 will inhibit your results.

Someone has turned up the heat this summer! Before you blame the sun for that red on your face, follow these 15 cautions to prevent boss behaviors that might really make you blush…and begin looking for a new job.

1.      Assuming They “Get it”

Double check for understanding and make sure they get the direction, feedback, and message you meant.

2.      Blaming

Leaders take responsibility for the mistakes even their teams make. Blame is not the name of the game.

3.      Forsaking Trust

Trust is built not bought from a promotion, nor demanded by a boss. Take the time to build it and they will come.

4.      Failing to Give Feedback

Feedback and criticism are cousins, not twins. They need the feedback to grow. Your feelings about them because of a mistake they made needs not to show.

5.      Ignoring a Problem

Problems ignored will fester and ferment, creating employee’s whose opinion from you they resent. Address it now and show them how before they forget what they did or it becomes a habit.

6.      Being a Buddy

Much as being a friend and parent is a delicate dance, being a buddy and boss is difficult to do. Choose one as priority over the other and if you get both, consider it a bonus.

7.      Ignoring Boundaries

Leaving your door open has value at times, but also invites them in all the time and inhibits your focus. Set boundaries for your time and determine what you’ll accept and what you won’t.

8.      Being a Bad Example

Employees pay close attention to what you see and say. Pay closer attention to what you share, even when you think they’re not looking, and be prepared to watch them mirror you even when you’re not looking.

9.      Failing to Delegate

No one person can do it all alone, though many a leader will try. Delegation is the ideal way of helping others develop skills they don’t already have. Your role is truly to develop and thus delegate.

10.Misunderstanding Motivation

Motivation is more than carrots and sticks. It’s beyond praise programs and not achieved by “do it because I said so”. Understanding who you lead is the critical precursor to knowing what they need.

11.Fearing Criticism

Someone once said “some will, some won’t, so what, next!” A leader may not be able to be this cavalier, but the confident leader doesn’t sweat it when a small number of people don’t get it and fail to think you’re amazing. J

12.Ignoring Your Own Needs

Leaders who dismiss the law of diminishing returns and believe sleep and downtime is not a need will eventually impersonate a potato on a couch or complain about their burn out from a hospital bed.


The title of boss does not give anyone permission to be a bully. Barking at, taking out your stress on, mistreating or abusing any team members is a sure career limiting move.

14.Playing Favorites

In contrast to treating someone poorly or being the bully, favoring one employee over another or treating one far more fairly than others is a liability waiting to happen.

15.Defining the Person Before the Role

When hiring a new employee, it’s best to clarify what you’re looking for before seeing someone in an interview. It’s easier to identify the criteria of the job so you’ll know the ideal candidate right when you see them.

Avoiding these mistakes that new leaders often make, will help you become an even better leader and those employees you lead to far faster succeed!

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!

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