Do’s and 5 Don’t for Managers

Many people achieve the role of team leader or manager based on their exceptional job performance, leading to promotion. If you find yourself in this position without formal management training, you're not alone. According to a 2023 CMI study, a significant 82% of UK managers lack formal training, so here’s our top 5 dos, and 5 don’ts for management.  

5 Do’s of Management:

  1. Lead by Example:

    How do you expect your team to behave? You are the leader, if your behaviours don’t align with company values, then those who follow you will behave badly too. Think about managers you’ve had in the past and focus on how they behaved. Copy the positive behaviours such as respect, listening, helping individuals to success ,and set the standards you expect your team to follow. 

  2.  Build on Strengths:
    While it is important to acknowledge and seek to mitigate weaknesses, it’s just as important to build both your own strengths and those of your team. Identify what’s good and find ways to make it better. Upping your game and that of your team is a combination of developing strengths and mitigating weaknesses. 

  3.  Invest in Yourself and Your People:
    Following on from the above, invest  in both formal training and obtaining the best tools for you and your team. Identify and request the resources that will enable your team to work both efficiently and effectively. Don’t wait for performance to plateau or fall, always seek ways to make things better. 

  4.  Enable Your Team’s Success: 
    You can’t be a successful manager if your team is failing. You have to ensure they can succeed and to do this you need to understand what they do and what is holding them back. Regular informal meetings are a great way for the team to understand what each of them are doing and highlight any barriers to progress. Early identification of issues, and understanding the knock-on effects, allows for remediate actions to be put in place before issues become major problems. 

  5.  Earn Your Team’s Respect Rather Than Seek Their Love:
    There’s a saying that people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers. Displaying toxic behaviours won’t win respect, but equally, a manager who avoids issues and is afraid of upsetting anyone, won’t win their love. Your job as manager is to deal with the difficult stuff such as applying disciplinary procedures when it becomes necessary. How you deal with this will gain or lose the respect of your team. It may be uncomfortable, but you can seek assistance from HR and take training to help you. 

5 Don’ts of Management:

As a manager, you face pressure from above whilst dealing with your teams’ issues. It’s easy to get stress, but important to avoid the don’ts of management: 


  1. Indulge in the Blame Game :
    When things go wrong, the buck stops with you. It’s your job to identify the root cause of what went wrong: was it a breakdown in communication; inefficient workflows; changing priorities; overloading, or knowledge gaps? Then develop solutions to ensure there is no repeat. You may also need to create opportunities for your team to highlight issues that are stopping them from achieving their goals on time. . 

  2.  Get Drunk on Power:
    Leadership is a privilege, don’t abuse it. You can only be an effective manager with the respect of your team, so avoid negative behaviours such as playing favourites, or pitting team members against each other. As a leader you have to be seen to be working towards the success of the team and demonstrate that you have your team’s back when they need it.

  3.  Be a Micro-Manager:
    Nothing is more toxic than constantly breathing down the necks of your team. You have trust them to do their jobs and do them well. If there are productivity issues, offer guidance to those who are struggling and ensure proper training is provided. Do your job rather than telling your team how they should be doing theirs. 

  4.  Refuse to Learn: 
    The truth is, no-one knows it all, and this is true of managers too. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your own skill or knowledge gaps and ask for the training that will fill them. Demonstrating a willingness to learn can inspire your team to seek professional development and help build all the competencies needed for you all to succeed.  

  5.  Fail to Give Credit Where its Due:
    Acknowledge when a job is done well, give praise to those who’ve gone above and beyond and include achievements and positive behaviours in annual reviews. This will help build loyalty and commitment, and a team that’s performing well always reflects well on the manager. 


Perhaps the best place to start learning to be a good leader is to look back at your own past managers. What behaviours made them good or bad leaders? Aim to develop the good and avoid the bad, and don’t hesitate to seek formal training.  

Qualifications for Managers: 

Professional Academy offers the ILM Level 3 Management Diploma which has been developed with new managers in mind. The qualification will build on your hands-on experience and develop your skills in the practical aspects managing people, resources and projects. 

 More Management Blogs: 


Skills for Strategic Leadership & Management 

How To Manage a Flexible Working Team 

Five Essential Skills for a Successful Management Career