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Bosses: Seven deadly sins to avoid

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Having an affair with a colleague tops the list of seven deadly business sins that newly-appointed bosses should avoid at all costs.

Garrett O’Keeffe of First100, which compiled the list, explains:

“Life at the top can sometimes seem a lonely place which probably goes a long way to explaining why some of our leading public figures are tempted to stray, but the potential long-term damage to an organisation both internally and externally is immense.”

Take former RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin or ex-England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson, who both had high profile (and now damaging) relationships with more junior colleagues.

What are the other seven deadly business sins?

  1. Don’t sleep with a colleague (unless you are married or in a relationship with them!);
  2. Don’t keep referring to “how we did things in my old company”;
  3. Avoid too many introductory meetings which you can’t follow up;
  4. Don’t make decisions just for the sake of being decisive;
  5. Don’t avoid sacking someone in the hope they’ll work out – they rarely do;
  6. Don’t avoid playing the political game – everyone else is at it;
  7. Avoid telling staff you’re going to spend your first 3 months asking questions.

O’Keeffe adds: “Starting in a new senior role is a highly pressurised time, and it’s crucial that bosses put in place a proper plan with clearly-defined objectives for their first 100 days and beyond.

“Without a clearly defined plan for the first 100 days, it is easy to fall into the trap of holding lots of introductory meetings, asking endless questions and talking about how good things used to be in their old company.”

O’Keeffe says that a good leader shows clear vision, has no fear, is a fast learner and knows when to show patience and resilience.

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