Are You Encouraging Failure in Your Managers? (It’s more common than you think!)

This week, we go back to look at one of the fundamental aspects of being a leader/manager and ask the question: do they act like a leader and take ownership of their position?

One of the most common issues that we find in junior or new managers is a lack of ‘ownership’ as a leader, although, don’t get me wrong, this can also be seen in more experienced managers too....

Let's look at Steve’s situation...

Steve was a new manager, he was trying to settle into his new position, he now looked after a team of 9 developers, all of whom used to be on the same level as him. 

  • When Steve constantly looked up to more senior managers for the answers that he should have found out for himself

    ...he was not taking ownership of his position.

  • When he avoided difficult conversations and passed the buck when it came to delivering unpopular news to his team

    ...he failed to take ownership of his position.

  • When he did not support his team time and time again - he became circumvented and was walked all over by the developers he was trying to manage.

    ...ultimately, he did not take ownership of his position and failed as a leader.

Can you imagine what knock on effects this must have on a business when leaders are failing to lead properly?

Senior leaders can't spend time on managing at the level they should be: strategy, communication, company structure, objectives and resources all can become compromised when leaders are weak and failing at their role.


So what causes a lack of ownership?

What causes a lack of ownership can vary and causality can cut both ways, it can be that:

  • The individual has more interest in completing their own work - they ignore the responsibility they have for supporting their team and do not take accountability for their team’s performance

  • The individual just wanted the pay-rise and promotion, but is not really interested in doing anything differently or learning anything new

  • In essence, the wrong person was recruited to the role

What we have found is that in most cases that we see, it tends to be that:

  • The individual has not fully understood the new role and the new responsibilities that they have inherited, perhaps they have seen them in a job spec, but they have not internalised them

  • The individual does not feel skilled enough in the areas of management that they have inherited or has a lack of confidence in taking a leadership role within a group

  • In essence, the manager has not been briefed or inducted or trained or mentored or coached well enough to succeed in the role

How many Steves do you have in your company? 


What does this kind of management style does this tend to lead to? 

Don’t worry, it is incredibly common to hear about issues like this.

Of course, adjusting recruitment parameters can weed out those people that would not suit or respond to the role, but there is strong evidence to suggest that the solution comes from giving the new manager the correct briefing about the role of becoming a manager.

Does your company explain to them that them know what it means be be a manager or leader?

Do you start this journey on the right foot?

Does Steve know how to be assertive?

Does he have the right skills to coach and support his team?

Does Steve really know what his team expect of him? 

Does Steve really know what the senior managers expect of him?


Whilst this can be handled internally, at Nine Dots Development, we have put together the perfect course to introduce managers to the concept of managing people.

We will help your managers:

  • Become assertive
  • Show them how to support their teams
  • Identify what it is that is expected from them
  • Show them how to exceed all expectations from their senior managers.

We can help you align your aspiring, new and existing managers to put you in the best possible position to develop strong leaders throughout your organisation who go on to lead winning teams.

To find out more about this course and how we can help you create great managers, please click below