Six Tips to get you started
Richard Pascale says…
“Managers do things right, while leaders do the right things. ”
It is important to understand the difference and to be able to make the right approach at the right time. This will only happen when you learn more about your role and responsibilities as a manager.
 Richard Pascale, ‘Managing on the Edge’, Penguin Books, pp 65, 1990
Maintain your confidence
As a new manager there will be occasions when you may feel a little overwhelmed by your new role and responsibilities. Realise that this is normal. It is at these times that you reminder yourself that you have been appointed to the job because others believe in your abilities and previously proven capabilities. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to the job.
Accept that you have more to learn
One of the mistakes that some new managers make is to forget that their previous skills and capabilities are only the foundation for this new role and that this role will stretch them further so they can grow and learn more.
Although your previous achievements have brought you to where you are now, you will need to learn a new set of skills to be effective in this role. Accept the challenge and prepare yourself for a new level of learning both in your behaviour, attitude, knowledge and skills.
Realise the importance of self development
The best managers and leaders are those who realise that their own continued personal development is the just as important as developing others. This will also have a huge impact on creating personal flexibility and leading by example.
Start by setting a path to find out more about yourself; your strengths as well as those areas in which you need to improve. Find out about how you learn – your preferred learning style; you management style and your approach to dealing with problems and problems solving.
These are great areas to help you change and recognise where you need to change. It is sometimes accepted that managers are responsible for developing their staff, but we can forget how important it is to develop ourselves.
Building a network of support
Identify at least one person who can help you; a colleague (someone on your level) or a more experienced manager within your organisation. Someone who can help you learn about the organisational culture; the expectations of managers at this new level; make the right contacts and understand how things are done. Someone who is able to support you in these areas will be very useful.
In addition, someone who you can trust to discuss areas of interest or concern, honestly and in confidence will be very useful as a sounding board at the very least. If you can find yourself a good mentor.
Be flexible and fair in your approach and dealings
Being appointed as a manager does not mean that you have to know everything or have to be right all the time. The main responsibilities of a manager are to manage all of their resources, and to get the job done well.
The people you are responsible for, the people who make up your team, are your most important resource. Use them well – ask them their opinion, encourage them to raise questions, use their skills and knowledge; give them praise and support, be honest and fair to gain their engagement, commitment and support, and keep them motivated. It is only through your team that you will achieve your goals and objectives.
Engage in a programme of structured learning
As part of your development as a manager it would be good to learn more about management itself. Learning and understanding some of the theory; best practice and some of the newer approaches to management will stand you in good stead, improve your creditability and provide you with other tools and techniques to use as you do your job.
One of the better ways of doing this is to engage in a course of study. You can study through:
- Open courses, in-house programmes, e-learning. There are a range of options available to you.
- Reading books,
- Videos, and
- Shared experiences through reflection and coaching.
Studies do not always have to be through the accredited avenue, if you are not ready for that. It is now possible to undertake units which will offer credits toward qualifications at a later day. There also open and bespoke training programmes that may be more cost effective if you or your organisation cannot afford a longer programme.