In the corporate world, a promotion to the managerial cadre is a big jump from being an individual contributor to being in charge of several individuals. This jump in position can be a difficult period of transition for several people. To overcome the challenge, the following are the 7 success tips for first-time managers who over a period of time are expected to play a role of a thought leader. This is the first step towards becoming a thought leader in an organization. Thought leadership demands certain discipline, knowledge, skills and expertise in the chosen field.
Here the seven success tips for the first time managers
The first tip is the manager has to change focus. The person promoted as manager may have performed well as a team member but once he becomes a manager his focus is to make sure that his team members reporting to him achieve the tasks allotted to them and make sure they accomplish the tasks even better. This is important because the performance of the team is a reflection of the manager’s performance. Thus the focus should be team oriented.
The next secret is to become smart. The manager needs to acquaint himself with all the tools, resources and learning materials available in the company that can be used to better the team’s performance. Attending training programs, awareness of company procedures and policies, knowing team members and their attitude towards work and so on help the manager to gain more knowledge to keep track of team requirements. In addition, resources outside the company such as online management blogs, industry journals and industry association meetings and seminars help the manager know more about the company and industry. Continuous self-learning will make sure that the manager has all facts related to his team and performance at fingertips.
The third tip is that the manager should be a keen listener and learner. The manager should resist the urge to make changes in the system without learning the workings of the system. Each team member’s views should be taken into account before making changes. The manager should be open to new suggestions, ideas and thoughts from his subordinates before deciding on any change. Ensuring that the team members have access to the manager and there is a clear line of communication is essential for a manager to succeed.
Being fair and impartial is the next important step for any new manager. As a manager, one cannot show favouritism on a few staff and be partial or biased. The manager has to ensure rules are same for everyone and all team members will be treated alike. Turning a blind eye to faults of few members and pinpointing mistakes of others will be disastrous for the team.
The fifth is to be an ideal manager. Indulging in gossip about team members, failing to meet deadlines, not being punctual, and so on are some of the strict no-no’s for a manager. The manager has to be a role model to his juniors and his subordinates should look up to him.
The next tip is to be an ideal deputy to the boss. The manager will be reporting to another superior and must make sure that he reduces the burden of his superior too. Keeping the boss in the loop about the team’s performance and asking the boss for guidance go a long way in improving performance of the team
Finally, identifying a mentor and seeking his advice for unforeseen and challenging situations is important. The senior manager whom you report to or the directors should be approached for gaining knowledge about business challenges and unforeseen circumstances. This way you would be not only learning as a manager but also preparing yourself to become a thought leader.
These are the seven primary key steps to become a successful manager if this is your first position in an organization. Eventually, you would be required to perform in a thought leadership role and these attributes should help you do well when that responsibility is entrusted to you.