This article is an adapted excerpt from “The Boom! Boom! Book: Practical tips to make sure your career doesn’t go bust!” (Ryan Media Consultants, 2013) by Michael Ryan. Ryan is president of Ryan Media Consultants and a retired vice president of The Arizona Republic, where he was general manager of the company’s 18 community Republics newspapers and their associated Web and mobile sites.

Here is some advice on things not to do if you want to succeed as a manager.

1. Here’s how we did it

Picture this scenario: you’ve been a successful manager at one of your company’s properties. You’ve done so well that the company wants to promote you to a different location. You’re excited, eager for a new challenge, and accept the promotion. You hustle off to your new location and start work.

Want a sure-fire way to turn off your new employees? Just start telling them about how you used to handle situations at your former company. “In (fill in the city), we used to do it this way.” Then look around at their faces. They’ll turn you off faster than you can turn off a light.

I once worked with an advertising director who moved from a smaller newspaper. He was a nice guy. However, almost every time he mentioned a certain project or idea, he would preface it by saying that’s what he did in his former job.

You should have seen the eye-rolling. People kept thinking, “What’s so great about that place? We’re better than that place.”

This fatal error gets committed by new managers time after time. It’s unbelievable. Don’t let it happen to you. Why does it matter where the idea came from? Just don’t mention the city. Say, “Here’s an idea we could try.”

People will be more receptive if they know you’re just not trying to replicate the same things you did in earlier positions.

2. “I need to check with my boss.”

One of the key traits a manager must have with his or her employees is credibility. Here’s a way to avoid losing it. See what I mean from these examples with Sarah as the employee, Jim as the boss and Margaret as Jim’s boss:

Scenario 1:

Sarah: “Jim, what should we do with the Weber account? When I went to see them today they want a 50% credit on their recent ad because we ran the wrong address. Can we give them the 50% credit?”

Jim: “I don’t know. Let me talk with Margaret about it and I’ll get back with you.”

Scenario 2:

Sarah: “Jim, I’m putting together the proposal for Rogers Furniture. Can we give them a 30% discount if they sign a 26-week contract?”

Jim: “30%, huh. That’s a big discount. Let me run it by Margaret and I’ll get back to you.”

Scenario 3:

Sarah: “Jim, what are you going to do about Nicole? She promised me she would have the artwork I needed by this morning and now she called in sick. She’s killing me. She’s so irresponsible. I’m furious.”

Jim: “Calm down, Sarah. Let me talk with Margaret about it.”

What do you notice about these three decisions? Jim can’t make a decision. He’s always checking with his boss, Margaret. How do you think Sarah feels? She’s probably thinking, “Why am I bothering to tell Jim? I should go right to Margaret.”

Managers who repeatedly say that they have to check with their boss are just emasculating themselves. They lose credibility with their employees every time they utter those words.

So how should Jim have handled the situations?

Scenario 1:

Sarah: “Jim, what should we do with the Weber account? When I went to see them today they want a 50% credit on their recent ad because we ran the wrong address. Can we give them the 50% credit?”

Jim: “Let me take a look at the ad. I’ll get back with you.”

Scenario 2:

Sarah: “Jim, I’m putting together the proposal for Rogers Furniture. Can we give them a 30% discount if they sign a 26-week contract?”

Jim: “Bring me your proposal so I can review it to see if it makes sense.”

Scenario 3:

Sarah: “Jim, what are you going to do about Nicole? She promised me she would have the artwork I needed by this morning and now she called in sick. She’s killing me. She’s so irresponsible. I’m furious.”

Jim: “Calm down, Sarah. Let me do some checking on the ad.”

In each case, Jim might want to talk with his boss, Margaret, about the issue but Sarah doesn’t need to know that. Jim also might just want time alone to figure out the ramifications of each issue. Just because someone comes to Jim with a problem doesn’t mean he has to give that person a quick answer. If Jim needs time to think before giving Sarah an answer, he needs to take it.

Avoid these fatal flaws and you’ll be much more successful as a manager.

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