Fahd AlHattab: Becoming a better leader and manager

portrait of Fahd AlHattab
Fahd AlHattab Fahd is a millennial workplace expert who teaches new managers how to lead multi-generational teams. He specializes in transformative leadership and team dynamics training for high-growth startups.

What do you feel Is the most common mistake that first-time managers make?

  • When it comes to first-time managers, we tend to see folks lean on the more extreme control side. They have the mentality of making sure everything gets done and everyone does it well.  They set the pace and assign project charts over everything, and set up daily check-ins. This runs along the problem of micro-management and being super assertive. 
  • These types of managers enjoy setting the intention that they’re going to run as fast as possible and that others should follow up with them if they want to succeed. 
  • The other management style we see is the democratic leader, the person who creates the space of allowing their peers to do what they want to do. They believe what they’re doing is empowering, But they’re on the other end of the spectrum; trying to give the people so much space and freedom that there is no direction. There are no goals.
  • I find most leaders fall on the ends of these extremes and their entire battle in their leadership growth is to find that space in the middle.

How do you take an individual approach to leadership and managing others? 

  • Take time to fundamentally learn a style of human behaviour dynamics. An example would be short-form personality tests. Pick up the book on it, and try to identify the specific characteristics. If you can identify human behaviours and patterns then you don’t have to participate in taking a short personality test to understand others. 
  • Once you have a framework to understand human behaviour, you can start to put things together about a person. But even before making assumptions about peoples working styles or communication styles, managers can directly ask how people would like to be managed. How would they like to be communicated to? Even asking them how they like receiving feedback can go a long way. 
  • In the simplest form, this approach is setting the pace of how you can be better for your colleagues. The process of a manager making themselves uncomfortable, saying, Give me feedback, and also pulling up the descent is something that is super important.