Being promoted to a management role is a big step in your career.
Some people fall into management positions for many reasons, like company needs, others actively work their way up the ladder to get into it.
It is a career path that varies like no other but one thing seems to be equal: it is as exciting as it is challenging.
If you’re first-time manager, here are 5 key tips to help you:
1. Develop your management skills
Developing your management skills even before you start your new role as a manager is a smart thing to do.
Management requires many skills like communication, coaching, motivating and listening.
There are several ways you can do this: the first one is to enrol in a management course. Several companies actually offer this to new managers, but if not it is something you can do it yourself and will only benefit your resume in the long run.
The other way is to research and read about it. The web is full of great information but you also find amazing books about it. We recommend “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu .
Not only the principles in this book are still applicable, they continue to be touted by top execs across the globe. You have here a powerful guide on effective leadership, from strategizing and logistics to conflict resolution and resource management.
2. Talk to experienced managers you admire
Having conversations with experienced leaders is a great way to get valuable tips and insights about being a first-time manager.
These can be people inside your company that you admire, or they can be people you simply approach on Linkedin or Twitter.
You would be be surprised to see how many people are open to help you, especially if they’re truly passionate about what they do. Take the opportunity to ask all your burning questions.
You can even end up finding a good mentor, someone you can go to when you have questions and need support.
3. Know the business deeply
You need to go much further than before in knowing the business. Not just the company you work for, but the industry as a whole and the main competitors as well.
Because you need to be prepared to address questions from your direct reports that take into account the broader landscape of the company.
You also need to take informed and critical decisions ad provide direction, so deeply knowing the business is crucial.
Spend time with more senior people inside your company from different departments and ask questions.
The more you know, the more you can help your team and the more integrated it will be in the company.
4. Be the example
You are now the one that people look up to for inspiration and an example on how to act, through the good times and the bad.
If you are promoted inside the company you were already working for, your relationship with your peers is obviously going to change.
And if you’re starting a management role inside a new company, you have a clean state to set up a good example from the very beginning.
The values you demonstrate, the way you handle adversity and the way you persevere through challenges is all now considered the measuring stick for others to act and behave.
So you need to be very aware and mindful of your emotions and your reactions. This very often means putting you own ego aside and do what’s best for the whole team, so you can lead in a way that people admire and respect.
5. Be hands-on
There’s a great possibility that you were asked to be a manager because you are great at your job. You work hard and it pays off.
But now that you are a manager it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do the “dirty work” anymore.
You are still part of the team and as mentioned in the previous tip, you need to set up the example.
Your direct reports will respect when you are willing to do any job at any time to help the team move forward.
You need to keep your eyes open on day to day things and jump in when there’s an opportunity to help someone.
Remember, at the end of the day what matters is the success of the business and the relationship you have with your direct reports. Promote a culture where everyone – including you – is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish things.
This is truly a skill of a great leader!
Over to You
If you’re a first-time manager and need counseling about getting it right, contact us now on 0845 45 900 35 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, no obligation, one hour career consultation with a Gateway consultant.