Why Managers hide behind their roles? — 5 Reasons

Gone are the days when the management was associated with the 5 primitive functions: Planning, Organising, Staffing, Directing, and Controlling. I am truly surprised to learn that these concepts are still being taught in business schools in our part of the world. Management is no longer the same what our previous generations of leaders practiced. One needs to start thinking about the fluidity of the knowledge society we live in. To help organizations meet today’s challenges, managers must move from directive to instructive, exclusive to inclusive, repetitive to innovative, problem solving to challenging, and employer to entrepreneur.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at 5 most common managerial mistakes, and highlighting how these can be avoided. If you can learn about these here, rather than through experience, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble!

1. Not Being “Hands-On”

Watch the above video to understand Jack Ma’s thought process on why and how to hire and retain smart employees.

Steve Jobs once said: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do”. Some managers believe and operate this way. In this age of endless electronic and (still a lot of) manual communication and heaps of reports, an over-involved manager’s role could be a painful one. Managers who adopt the hands-off approach to management often trust their team enough to let them work by themselves.

These leaders do not feel the need to coddle their employees or team leads, and are only concerned with the macro perspective. They manage through their team leads and never bypass the line of authority. They often take chances and risks because they know their team is competent enough to handle any additional pressure that may come with it. This kind of manager focuses heavily on other aspects of business, like expansion, diversification, etc. Precisely, going to the opposite extreme i.e. hands-off approach isn’t too good either. One needs to balance it out.

2. Not Being Assertive

To cover up on the front of not being hand-on, some managers pretend to be seen as friendly and approachable to people within their teams. After all, people are happier working for a manager that they get along with. However, you’ll sometimes have to assert within your teams as some employees are tempted to take advantage of your relationship if you get just overfriendly at the cost of your work and reputation.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t socialize with your colleagues at work. But, you do need to get the balance right between being a friend and getting things done with right expectations and results.

3. Not “Walking the Talk”

As they say in English: “There are managers and then, there are Leaders”. To explain, any entity, whether commercial or social, has leaders leading them who are expected to have a vision on where they want organisations and employees to reach and at the same time, have a clear action plan or mission on how to get there. In order for the managers to achieve such a height, they just not stay in their jobs as managers. They go a step ahead and take leadership roles,

Thus, we find Business Leaders, Sportspersons, Celebrities, and Administrators as well as Activists in all walks of life that make leadership a daily affair. They walk the talk or in other words, they practice what they preach and lead by example and lead from the front to inspire and motivate their teams. They let their teams to visualise what leaders actually mean by these heavy business jargons. As a manager, one needs to be a role model for your team.

4. Not Empowering

Some managers just don’t delegate. These are the classic example of a micro-manager because they feel that no-one apart from themselves can do key jobs properly. In short, they don’t trust their people in the first place. This can cause huge problems as work bottlenecks around them, and as they become stressed, burned out and eventually stay miserable.

Delegation does take a lot of effort up-front, and it can be hard to trust your team to do the work correctly. But unless you delegate tasks, you’re never going to have time to focus on the bigger picture that most leaders and managers are responsible for. What’s more, you’ll fail to develop your people so that they can take the pressure off you and lead a peaceful life.

5. Not Sharing Timely Feedback

We all must have seen some of our managers being hesitant in sharing candid and genuine feedback with their teams. To me, they are neither honest to themselves nor to their teams.

According to 1,400 executives polled by The Ken Blanchard Companies, failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make. When you don’t provide prompt feedback to your people, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to improve their performance.


We all make mistakes in our work lives and otherwise and there are some mistakes that our managers make simply because they are human beings too. These include some of the issues listed above and not properly understanding their own or their team’s roles. Let’s not forget that making mistakes can be the learning opportunities at the same time. Taking time to learn from those mistakes and to recognise the fact can help you become productive and successful and highly respected by your team.

Ultimately, it all boils down to the company culture one works in. There is absolutely no correct way how to lead teams but one should always ask whether the arguments you are using for being treated differently than the rest of the team are legitimate reasons or whether they are just excuses that prevent you from being an effective leader. So, ask yourself: “Do I really need to hide behind my role as a manager?

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Muhammad Sajwani is the Founder, Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Evolve HR which aims at transforming, enriching and evolving Human Capital of Pakistan. At Evolve HR, him and his team thrives in challenging assumptions that hinder organisational aspirations, by creating innovative solutions that yield maximum impact, scalability & benefit to a wider base of stakeholders. As a Business Coach and Organisational Consultant, Sajwani knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

C-Level HR, Transformation Leader, Board Advisor, Writer, Business Coach & Organisational Consultant