Be a Better Boss: 7 Typical Leadership Mistakes

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Text comes from: Die Macht der versteckten Signale: Wortwahl - Körpersprache - Emotionen. Nonverbale Widerstände erkennen und überwinden (2014) from Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka, Gabriele Schranz, published by Linde Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Whether the introduction of a positive culture of error in the Company working or not depends primarily on leadership. It must be convinced of the new values ​​and standards.

choleric leadership

Here writes for you:


Gabriele Schranz SchranzGabriele Schranz is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG; Vienna - Zurich.


Here writes for you:


Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka cerwinkaDr. Gabriele Cerwinka is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG.


From the author:




Measured in action

A positive culture of error creates solutions for the future. From errors will be questions, from questions will change. Static or backward-oriented thinking has no place.

The quality of error culture in the Company is measured by the acts. Only when all employees realize that the words are actually followed by action, they will accept the new procedure of continuous improvement processes and recognize the advantage for all.

The actual cause research should not last indefinitely, which leads to endless discussions about guilt, solutions, etc. If the questions of the checklist are answered, it is necessary to go to the next step:

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Search for long-term solutions

The search for a lasting solution, independent of the already initiated measures. This includes adapting the existing control systems and improving the existing emergency plans. It is also important to clarify any possible consequences of labor law.

If the teams have not yet participated in the process, or not enough, it is important to ask for suggestions from the team at the latest when it comes to future measures. Reasonable suggestions for improvement should be rewarded.

Fear of fear

At present, there is still a leadership concept in many companies and teams characterized by fear and a focus on mistakes. However, focusing too much on mistakes on the part of the manager promotes their entry.

In such a case, the leadership continues to drive the negative spiral. The risk-avoidance, which determines everything, often leads to a general standstill.

Education to avoid the failure

Ditworkers are educated to fearful failures of failure, not to question the orders and instead of to take actions, rather do nothing to do nothing wrong. Similarly, the leadership does not decide not to go wrong.

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If errors do occur, not only is the error sanctioned, but also the reporting of errors, in the sense of “The bearer of the bad news is beheaded!”. This leads to concealment and cover-up.

Scapegoats before!

If a mistake comes up, it is often said in such cases: "My biggest mistake was that I trusted this and that!"

In the case of such a management concept, those who have committed the error are always subject to sanctions. In most cases, the leadership is a violent outburst.

Typical management errors

A leader with outbursts of rage and insulting utterances is convinced that fierce words can clarify the situation and restore order.

The own anger was reduced and the employees are apparently back on the right track. At first, that seems to work too.

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Why choleric does not help

Everyone collapses and fewer mistakes happen immediately afterwards. But these executives overestimate their influence on the error rate.

Even without an outburst of rage, the number of errors would have fallen after the occurrence of a coarser error, because larger errors are rare events.

Ask your leadership

The questioning of one's own style of leadership is therefore a prerequisite for a good culture of error.

Being able to deal with errors as a leader often means deliberately engaging in conflicts. Why are some executives doing so hard?

7 typical management error

  • Harmony addiction: As long as the team is peaceful, the leader does not have to intervene and act.
  • Conflicts of oppositeness are the result of a reluctant behavior from an early age: all unpleasantness is suppressed from conscious perception.
  • We only know the winner-loser scenario: every conflict means there are winners and losers. This is not a good basis for further successful cooperation.
  • The prevailing performance orientation in our society offers no room for mistakes and resulting conflicts.
  • Such management forces the fear of loss of control to defensive behavior.
  • So acting executives are afraid to face the often unpleasant truth. The attitude towards conflict in the team is also an important prerequisite for the successful introduction of an error culture.
  • Another motive: fear of losing energy - "I have more important things to do!"

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