As an instructor, you want your students to gain the skills needed to think and act like successful managers. Unfortunately, it’s easy for new managers to fall for the many myths about what good managers do.

Check out these nine management myths, plus discover ways to help your students navigate the management world.

MANAGEMENT MYTH #1: There’s only one right way to lead or manage.

THE TRUTH: Leadership can be customized for different employees. Hersey and Blanchard argue employees have different levels of readiness for handling different jobs, responsibilities and work assignments. Accordingly, Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory states that leaders need to adjust their leadership styles to match followers’ readiness.1

MANAGEMENT MYTH #2: Leadership is more important than management.

THE TRUTH: Management in conjunction with leadership can help achieve planned orderly change, and leadership in conjunction with management can keep the organization properly aligned with its environment. 2 Managers are critical to getting out the day-to-day work, and leaders are critical to inspiring employees and setting the organization’s long-term direction.1

MANAGEMENT MYTH #3: It’s easier for a manager to do the work than employees.

THE TRUTH: As a manager, you might be able to complete a task faster than your staff, but that doesn’t mean you should complete it.  Work should be delegated to employees to build their personal investment and professional growth.

 MANAGEMENT MYTH #4: Managers know everything.

 THE TRUTH: No need to know everything! Instead, stay up to date with your industry and your role, but welcome the skills and knowledge of your team members, too.

MANAGEMENT MYTH #5: The most important relationship a manager can build is with each individual employee.

THE TRUTH: Successful managers should have strong individual relationships, but they should also focus on team building.  Managers set the tone of a team and can either create an environment of respect and synergy, or a harsh environment of cut-throat competition.  

MANAGEMENT MYTH #6:  A manager’s actions always speak louder than words.

THE TRUTH: In a study of great business leaders, the most often cited criterion for greatness was a leader’s ability to articulate a strategy and vision that was compelling to a group of followers. Long-term success depends on building and reinforcing a collective purpose or shared vision, which in turn depends on clear, persistent and meaningful messages that energize followers. 3

MANAGEMENT MYTH #7: Social media sites like LinkedIn threaten retention.

THE TRUTH: Don’t let fear cause you to miss an opportunity, or even worse, alienate your employees. William Arruda, a contributor to Forbes, explains further: “Encouraging people to use social media helps them do their jobs better and gives them the opportunity to promote the company by serving as brand ambassadors.”

MANAGEMENT MYTH #8: You can measure everything that matters.

THE TRUTH: It’s important to identify what can — and can’t — be specifically measured. According to author Glenda Eoyang, examples of meaningful, yet easy-to-measure factors include “defects in quality, time on task, revenues generated, and staff turnover.” But a good manager manages more than just the numbers. Eoyang adds, “Engagement, performance, customer satisfaction, professional development and creativity are where the numbers can’t tell the whole story.”

MANAGEMENT MYTH #9: Employees aren’t productive when they work from home. 

 THE TRUTH: Based on a study from the Harvard Business Review, working at home actually boosts productivity among workers. If possible, give it a try: your employees are more likely to feel empowered and engaged as a result.

Want to learn more? Check out all the features of MindTap Management.


1 Williams, Chuck, MGMT, 11th Edition (Cengage, 2019), Ch 14-1, 14-2.

2Griffin, Phillips, Gully. Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations, 13th Edition. Cengage, 2020.

3 Gulati, Mayo, Nohria. Management: An Integrated Approach, 2nd Edition. Cengage, 2019.