So you’re a brand new manager. Congratulations! You worked very hard to get here, and now you’re at the mountaintop. See those other peaks in the distance? Those are where you really want to be. Where you’re standing now? It’s only a foothill. Yes, it took a lot of time, effort and education to get here, but you have a lot more work ahead of you.
To help you do well where you are and show you the first steps in how to get from here to where you really want to be, here are a few facts and truths about management that you need to know right now. If not sooner.
First, while managers can be trained – which is great – but you will still learn a lot by doing. On the job training is both practical and necessary for managers. If you are leading and not learning, you are probably a liability to both your team and your company.
Understand why you are in that position. You were not hired or promoted to increase your salary and buy a bigger house and a better car. You are there for a very specific job. You have a purpose, and, even if you don’t know it, your supervisors do … and they measure you against that expectation. If you are not aware of that fact or filter, you are in for a long, hard ride … or, worse, a very short tenure.
One key mistake new managers make is forgetting it’s no longer all about them. In the past, as both a new hire and an employee, you were judged solely on your own merits and experience. No longer. Your team will help determine your future. If you lead them well, and they respond well, you will do well. If you lead them poorly, or they respond poorly to how you lead, all of you will suffer.
Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses and lead accordingly. You cannot treat everyone the same way and expect to get the best results out of everyone. You need to tailor your leadership based on both the situation and the people on your team. Even more important, learn quickly who you can trust and what you can trust them with. Then delegate accordingly.
Learn how to communicate clearly. Maybe you think you’re good at this. Trust me, you can do better. Don’t waste time arguing the point. Just get better. You can thank me later … or not. It’s up to you. In the process of learning how to properly communicate, learn how to set team goals. I’m not suggesting you do away with individual goals or benchmarks. In addition to those, build a sense of camaraderie and shared success in your office.
You will be glad you did.
So, what about it manager? How are you doing in these areas? Are there benchmarks where you can improve?
Jonah Engler is a financial expert from New York City.
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