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How to Avoid the Most Common Management Mistakes at Work

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Photo: Steven Depolo/Flickr Creative Commons

Management consultant Chris Holmberg of San Francisco was recently interviewed by First Round Review on the most dangerous leadership pitfalls. Holmberg shares a 15-minute practice on how to avoid common management mistakes by focusing on “the it, the we, and the I.”

Here’s an excerpt from the First Round Review article:

Holmberg hones in on the mistakes that ensnare some of the most promising people he’s met. Most importantly, he offers a simple daily exercise that can free people to see their growth and failure in a whole new light.

These are the questions you can ask yourself to methodically revisit your day:

The It: Did you execute your work — the emails you wanted to write, the strategy document you owed your boss — the stuff you had on your list at the start of the day? Did you do the things that were important and not just urgent?

The We: Did you add value to the lives of the people you interacted with? Did they walk away with more knowledge, energy, goodwill, help, a better understanding? “It’s not asking whether you made people happy,” says Holmberg. “That’s not always the goal.” You want to make sure you communicated clearly in a way that added value for them and met goals for you.

The I: How did you manage your own energy and mood? Self-care measures like working out, eating well, and sleeping enough are just as important as anything you do in the office. Ironically, those are the things most startup leaders drop first, and yet the “I” is the foundation of leadership. You can’t help others if you deplete yourself. Startup execs commonly become overly focused on the ‘It’ and moving forward at the expense of the ‘We’ and the ‘I.’

After you’ve reflected on the day (it’s good to run this practice in the evening shortly before bed), you can use the same three lenses to set your intentions for tomorrow.

Read the full interview on

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