- Only a few people have the right leadership qualities to succeed, according to a 2015 Gallup study.
- There are some common pitfalls new managers can learn to avoid, experts told Insider.
- These include avoiding micromanaging, having all the answers, and lack of mentorship.
In 2015, a Gallup study of managers revealed that the best have similar talents, namely ability to motivate, be assertive, be accountable, building strong relationships, and being decisive.
The same study, which looked at 2.5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries, suggested only one in 10 have the right qualities to be a successful leader.
Those who lack talent across these five areas are less likely to be good managers, the study found.
For new managers, it’s a challenge to be an effective leader while getting to grips with new responsibilities.
Insider spoke with experts to find out the common traps new managers fall into, and how to avoid them.
1. Not letting go of your old job
Many first-time managers cling on to their previous role, said Margo Manning, leadership consultant and author of "The Step Up Mindset for New Managers."
"It's a safety blanket for them," said Manning, adding that taking on responsibilities from their previous role will snowball into other issues such as time management.
Mannings said first-time managers should produce a handover plan where employees formally take over their old responsibilities.
Micromanagement stems from a lack of trust between manager and employee, according to René Carayol, executive coach and author of "SPIKE: What Are You Great At?"
"Micromanagement is when I don't trust my people," he said. "I'm going to an inappropriate level of detail to get the job done. And I end up undermining them. They lose confidence, they lose trust in me, I'm the last person on earth they want to work with."
The "antidote" to micromanagement is empowering people to do the work.
"Can I breathe appropriately and sit on my hands, bite my tongue, and let someone else make some mistakes? The only mistake is the one they don't learn from. You've got to be able to do it," he said.
3. Prioritize IQ over EQ
Young managers often think that they have to be "the cleverest person in the room," said Carayol, who added that IQ was less important than emotional intelligence, or "how I make people feel and how people feel about working for me."
Early managers often feel they need to have answers to every question - they don't. "Their job is to create an environment where other people can fly," he said.
4. Not letting direct reports learn
New managers often see constructive feedback as a "negative process" and avoid it, said Manning, stopping colleagues from learning.
"You're not going to swim by me giving you the theory," added Carayol. "No matter how good my theory is about swimming, you need to dive in that pool, and you're going to get a belly full of water and you're going to learn.
"But if I don't allow you to get in the pool, then I'm limiting the success of my team."
5. Not having a mentor
A major ingredient in avoiding failure is finding a mentor, said Carayol.
"Someone who has done everything you're ever likely to do, before and many times and is done in a way that you admire, and they're really very senior to you, and they give you an hour of their time," he said. "What the mentor enables you to do, instead of waiting 15 years to have acquired it, they show you how to do it in no time at all by accelerating your learning and capability as a leader."