Every year, millions of people are promoted to their first management position. Most will fail within 18 months.
If you’ve been promoted to your first management position, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Clear Goals: A successful business needs clear metrics and goals. Without knowing what success looks like, it’s impossible for a team to work towards it effectively. That’s why it’s important for everyone in the company to understand the north star metric- whether it be revenue, user growth, or something else entirely. It’s also crucial for each member of the team to know how their role contributes to that metric. Once these aspects are clarified, people can focus on executing the necessary tasks and actions to drive the company towards success. Without a clear target in hand, efforts may be scattered and ineffective. It’s important to take the time to ensure that everyone understands what success looks like and how they can work towards achieving it.
Remove Blockers: If a team is struggling to meet their goals and constantly hitting roadblocks, it’s important to take a step back and analyze the obstacles in their way. Are there tech issues causing delays? Hiring a freelancer or outsourcing IT support can help address these problems quickly. Are there repetitive manual tasks slowing down progress? Consider investing in automation software to streamline processes and free up time for more important tasks. Or perhaps there are weak reporting structures in place that make it difficult to track progress and make informed decisions. Investing in better analytics tools can help track performance and identify areas of improvement. Taking measures to remove any obstacles standing in the way of success will ultimately result in a more efficient and productive team.
Morals: As a business owner or leader, it is essential to have a set of guiding principles that govern the way you conduct your company’s affairs. Without these principles, decisions can become chaotic and lack consistency. Not only do guiding principles provide direction for employees, but they also give them a moral compass to use in their decision-making. It is important for leaders to not only define these principles, but also actively uphold them through their own actions. When leaders act contrary to their stated principles, they send mixed messages and undermine their effectiveness. In today’s competitive marketplace, having a strong ethical foundation can set a company apart and attract talented employees who align with those values. Ultimately, operating ethically results in long-term success for both the company and its stakeholders.
Managing mistakes: In any work environment, mistakes are bound to happen. An honest mistake can be forgiven and used as a lesson for the future. It’s important to remember that we are all human and capable of error. However, repeated mistakes or deliberate dishonest behavior should not go unpunished. Inattention or laziness is not an excuse for continuous mistakes, and dishonest behavior undermines trust and integrity in the workplace. As a fair employer or colleague, it’s important to forgive minor mistakes but also hold individuals accountable for their actions and continuously demonstrate integrity in all work-related matters. Ultimately, forgiveness fosters higher morale and productivity while holding people accountable ensures a well-functioning team and successful organization.
Owning your mistakes: It can be tempting to try to pass the blame when things go wrong, but being flawed means taking ownership of your mistakes. In a business setting, this builds trust and fosters an atmosphere of honesty. A blame-first culture is poisonous and not productive – it’s much better to put your hand up and work towards a solution. Admitting your flaws may be difficult in the moment, but it will ultimately serve to strengthen relationships and improve overall performance. Embracing your flaws shows maturity and openness, making you a more valuable member of any team.
Be a rational (and nice) human being: As a leader, it is important to make decisions that are rational and well-thought out. This not only shows respect for those who may disagree with you, but also instills trust in your abilities as a leader. If you cannot explain or justify your decisions, how can anyone be expected to follow them? Irrational behavior undermines confidence in the overall vision and direction of the team or organization. Instead, take the time to carefully consider all options and gather input from trusted colleagues before making a decision. By being rational and able to articulate your reasoning, you demonstrate robust leadership skills and secure followership in the long run.
Be open to new ideas: As a leader in the workplace, it can be tempting to only value ideas and input from those above or below you on the corporate ladder. However, assuming that there is always a better idea out there and being open to hearing it from anyone can lead to improved creativity and success for your team. Not only will your team members feel heard and encouraged to contribute, but you may also find yourself noticing more innovative ideas coming from unexpected places. Staying open-minded in this way allows for continuous growth and improvement at all levels of the organization. So listen, consider all perspectives, and always keep in mind that there could be a better idea out there waiting to be discovered.
Transparency counts: In a remote-first work environment, it’s easy to feel fear and alienation, as coworkers make assumptions about each other’s decisions and actions. However, practicing transparency can help prevent these negative outcomes. By actively sharing information and prioritizing open communication, colleagues can feel united rather than estranged from each other. Transparency not only helps to minimize misunderstandings, but it also builds trust among team members, thus strengthening the overall workforce. In a remote setting, transparency is critical for fostering a productive and cohesive work culture.
Create Trust: Trust is a valuable commodity in the business world and in our personal lives. When we trust others, we open ourselves up to deeper connections and greater opportunities. Giving people the benefit of the doubt allows us to see them for who they really are rather than placing negative preconceived notions on their actions. Many times, our minds superimpose narratives onto benign circumstances, but by taking a step back and separating facts from storytelling, we can more accurately assess situations and make sound decisions based on trust. In the long run, life becomes richer when we choose to trust rather than doubt. Of course, it’s important to be discerning and not blindly trust everyone- but allowing ourselves to have faith in others can lead to meaningful experiences and relationships.
Motivation: In any organization, it’s important to make sure that exemplary work is recognized and praised. Not only does it show employees that their efforts are valued, but it also sets a benchmark for others to strive towards. On the flip side, criticism and feedback should always be given privately in a one-on-one setting. No one likes being called out publicly, as it can demotivate them and breed resentment among colleagues. Taking the time to address issues in a private setting allows for a more open and productive conversation. So remember, praise publicly and criticize privately for a more positive and effective workplace.
There are many reasons why most new managers fail within the first 18 months. One reason is that they haven’t had the proper training. They may be excellent at their jobs, but that doesn’t mean they know how to effectively manage other people. Another reason is that they try to do everything themselves instead of delegating tasks and empowering their team members. This can lead to burnout very quickly. Additionally, many new managers don’t have the necessary soft skills, such as communication and conflict resolution, which are essential for managing people effectively. Finally, some new managers simply aren’t cut out for the job and find that it’s not the right fit for them.
New Manager FAQs
1. What are some common reasons why new managers fail?
One of the most common reasons for manager failure is a lack of leadership skills. Without the ability to motivate and inspire their team, new managers may struggle to successfully meet goals and drive productivity. Additionally, poor communication can lead to confusion and miscommunication within the team, causing projects to fall behind schedule or fail entirely. Ineffective time management can also be a major contributor to manager failure, as it can result in missed deadlines and lost opportunities. It’s important for new managers to recognize and address these issues early on in order to set themselves up for success in the long run.
2. What can new managers do to set themselves up for success?
As a new manager, it can be tempting to jump straight into delegating tasks and making decisions. However, taking the time to plan and prepare can set you up for long-term success in your new role. One crucial step is to clearly communicate expectations to your team and establish benchmarks for measuring progress. This will help ensure that everyone stays on the same page and is working towards common goals. It’s also important to establish trust and a positive professional relationship with each team member by actively listening to their input and addressing any concerns they may have. Building strong relationships with higher-ups in the company can also open up opportunities for mentorship and career advancement. By investing time in planning and building strong connections early on, new managers will set themselves up for success in their role.
3. What are some common mistakes that new managers make?
One common mistake that new managers make is not setting clear expectations and goals for their team. Without a roadmap, it can be difficult for team members to understand their roles and how they fit into the overall workflow. Another error that new managers often make is micromanaging their team instead of allowing them to problem solve on their own and take ownership of their work. This not only inhibits their growth as professionals, but also creates an unproductive and tense work environment. New managers must also remember to prioritize open communication and address conflicts promptly. Allowing issues to fester can lead to lower morale and decreased performance from employees. While there may be a learning curve in the beginning, taking steps to avoid these mistakes can set a new manager up for success in the long run.
4. What are some things that new managers should keep in mind?
As a new manager, it is important to remember that you have been chosen for this position because your superiors believe you are capable and have the skills necessary to succeed. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed or unsure in a leadership role, but it is important to trust in your abilities and continue learning and growing as a manager. Additionally, effective communication is key in any management position. This means actively listening to your team, providing clear directions and expectations, and giving appropriate feedback. It is also important to establish trust and respect with your team by showing fairness and consistently demonstrating integrity. And finally, while it is necessary to set goals and hold yourself and your team accountable, remember that not everything will go according to plan – being able to adapt and problem solve will help make you an successful manager. Overall, believing in yourself and strong communication skills paired with a willingness to learn, earn respect, set goals, and adapt will help make any new manager successful.
5. What are some resources that new managers can use to help them succeed?
As a new manager, it can be overwhelming to juggle the responsibilities and expectations that come with this role. However, there are several resources available to help support you in your journey. Mentors and coaches can provide valuable guidance and insight, while professional organizations and networking events offer opportunities for education and connection with like-minded individuals. Online courses and seminars can also provide specific training in management techniques and strategies. Even something as simple as a good book or article on the topic can offer helpful tips and strategies. As a new manager, it is important to continuously seek out resources and opportunities for growth and development. By taking advantage of these resources, you will set yourself up for success in your new role.
6. What are some things that new managers can do to get off to a good start?
When stepping into a new managerial role, it can be challenging to navigate the responsibilities and dynamics of the position. However, there are several steps that can set new managers up for success. First, it is important to establish strong communication with team members and higher-ups within the company. This includes setting clear expectations, being open to feedback, and actively listening to concerns or ideas. It is also crucial to prioritize organization and time management in order to stay on top of daily tasks and long term goals. Finally, new managers should work on building trust and fostering positive morale within their team by recognizing accomplishments, maintaining a positive attitude, and delegating tasks appropriately. By taking these actions, new managers can lay strong foundations for successful leadership in their role.
7. What are some tips for new managers?
As a new manager, it can be overwhelming to take on additional responsibilities and lead a team. Here are a few tips to help guide you in this transition. First, make sure to clearly communicate your expectations for the team and individual employees. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. It’s also important to establish trust within the team by being transparent and open to feedback. Encourage collaboration and provide support for employee development. Finally, make time for regular check-ins with individual team members to ensure their well-being and address any potential issues that may arise. Remember, being a successful manager involves balancing assertiveness with empathy and maintaining strong communication within the team. With these tips in mind, you’ll surely set yourself up for success as a new manager.