New Management Position? Avoid Quick Win Traps

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Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

New Management Position? Avoid Quick Win Traps

Of course, realizing quick wins is important when you're in a new management job. By doing so you reassure your boss or stakeholders that they made the right promotion / hiring decision, you convince your employees that they can have confidence in you, and you show to your colleagues that an equal has joined their ranks.
But Mark van Buren and Todd Safferstone have found through a large-scale survey that there are 5 frequent traps on the way to a quick win, leading to what they call a "quick-win paradox":
1. Focus too heavily on the details
2. React negatively to criticism
3. Intimidate others
4. Jump to hasty conclusions
5. Micromanage direct reports
In general, van Buren and Safferstone recommend to shift your focus from creating individual quick wins to creating collective quick wins. This advise makes sense being a manager. After all your primary job is to make your people successful.
Source: The Quick Wins Paradox, HBR Jan 2009, p. 54-61.

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