Crack open the beers and call your mom to celebrate —you’ve been promoted to a managerial role. Congrats! But, if there’s a little voice in the back of your head saying “what in the world do I do next” … you’re not alone.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, “the irony for most newly appointed managers is that the skills and qualities that earned them the promotion are very different from those that will serve them well as a leader, and they're often left to figure it out on their own.” The article goes on to talk about the value of leadership training and ways that companies can set their new managers up for success.
This really got me thinking. What type of advice would I give to new managers? Here are some of my thoughts …
#1. Be Who You Are … And Crush It
Your growth at any company means that someone believes in you. You’ve shown determination and a great work ethic, and you’ve got the skills to take your career to the next level. Remember this when you start feeling unsure.
Your work as a manager will likely be more indirect than your previous role. Rather than executing the marketing strategy or hustling a sales call, you’ll be helping your team develop these programs and skills. It will take some time for you to find your rhythm, but Believe in yourself and be who you are … and you’ll crush it.
#2. Be Focused on Your Team
You may or may not have noticed, but I don’t use the word “employee” on my blog … rather, “team member.” I believe that you’re only as good as the team that you surround yourself with and there’s so much value in building a cohesive team that has the tools and freedom it needs to be successful.
As you start your new journey as a manager —or, better yet, team leader— don’t forget to focus on them. They will be depending on you for guidance, trustworthiness, and character.
#3. Be a Team Builder
One of the best parts of my career has been building a team that feels supported and empowered. In fact, I’ve written before about the impact that technology can have when trying to build a truly collaborative team environment. From traditional team-building exercises to making sure team members have the access to tools, technology and systems they need to be successful … all of this will make or break your effectiveness.
#4. Be a Listener
This one is pretty straightforward, but it’s something that we all can easily forget. I’ll admit that I still struggle with this one. It’s so easy to start thinking about what you're going to say the minute someone starts talking. Being a good listener is vital in all aspects of our life —but particularly in business. You can catch more of my thoughts on Practicing the Art of Undivided Attention and 6 Habits of Leaders Who Keep Their Mouths Shut.
#5. Be Willing to Ask for Help
When I first started my career, I can remember leaning on my mentors and colleagues for support, guidance, and wisdom. They helped shape my mindset and career in ways that they may never understand. Remember that there is a certain humility that comes from asking for help when you need it, and it’s something (like listening) that needs to be practiced. With our world changing so quickly, the reinvention of our products and services is the only way to stay relevant. It is more important than ever to have amazing mentors and advisors that help you think through your next move.
If you’ve been around the block a few times, what are some of your top pieces of advice for new managers? Let’s fill up the comments with some really valuable advice.