You’re a Manager – Now What?

We are going to talk about some businesses we’ve worked with and when an employee gets put into a new management position.

Did you know that when most people become managers, they don’t get any training?  It’s very common.  Many businesses have a great employee, probably an employee who matches the company’s values, and they work hard, so they get promoted.  All of a sudden, they’re given this position.

As a new manager,  you’ll need to identify specific things you may not have been trained on that you’re now expected to do in this new role. The boss wants you to just go get things done and they know you’ve been wildly successful in your past role, so now you’re given more to handle.  And many bosses are so busy that they don’t have time to really onboard or train you, not that they can’t, they just don’t have time.

This is where you bring in a coach…it’s a point of leverage.  A coach will work with you on a personal development plan, to guide you and help you through the transition to ensure success.

Here are some things we’ve run into when all of a sudden you’ve become a manger.  We’ll call them tendencies of people and what they’ll do (not everybody does them, but they happen a lot):

Let’s say you were a salesperson but you are now a manager.  As you become the manager of that department head, you still are a salesperson (still have a client base of your own that you’re maintaining).  You are selling, selling, selling, selling, and you should be managing. You don’t step away from your old role. Sound like you?

You need to understand what you need to do and be able to discipline yourself.  You need to carve out time to develop and work with those people you’re managing.  You also need to put time aside weekly because it’s so easy to get yourself consumed in your old role.

Why does this happen?

  • You haven’t had a chance to replace yourself
  • You don’t want to delegate because nobody does it as good as you do
  • You might not want to get out of your comfort zone

What your goals should be:

  • Look purposely at planning your time
  • Look at what percent of time you need to be spending in your current role as a leader

Here are some things you might be doing:

  • Working yourself ragged and burning yourself out
  • You’re letting things go, not getting things done
  • You’re spending all your time on your old role, not your new role

Basically, you’re not growing into your new job.  One way to avoid these things is to think about what would be appropriate at this stage in this new role, and then at the end of each day and of each week, look at how you spend your day and if it’s 50% management time, a little bit on sales and the rest on your direct reports, great! Recognize you don’t want to work 70 hours a week when you used to work 55.  

You need to learn to delegate and balance.  Here are some things managers should be doing:

  • Spend time developing people
  • Marketing
  • Innovating (depending on your team)
  • Financials/Numbers
  • Development of yourself
  • Meetings/Communication

You’ve got to change your leadership style based on who you’re working with.  Being too busy is a challenge because of the impact it has on your employees, clients, and yourself.  You’re not getting the right things done. So, it’s important to be great at delegation and also at situational leadership.

A pitfall some new managers make:  “The way I used to do everything was right, so the way I’m going to do this is the same way. What got me here will get me to the next level.”  You have to make adjustments in who you are when you change roles. This is way underestimated. Just because you’re successful in one place doesn’t mean you’ll be successful here.  

Do you think you’re doing great?  How do you know?

We actually go into companies (you can hire us for this one thing) and we do a 360 survey.   We talk to all those people you manage and get their perspective to see what you’re great at and what you could use some improvement on.  The information gets pulled back anonymously and you’ll be able to look at the areas you could use improvement on, reinforce what you’re doing well, and look at improvement opportunities to figure out how to approach them and what are some ways to improve on them to move forward.  This is how you find if your behavior tendencies are getting in your way or helping you, and to figure out what adjustments need to be made.

Book:  What Got You Here won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

Does this sound like you?

You’ve worked with some people for a period of time, and now all of a sudden you’re they’re boss.  Your friends are now reporting to you. So what do you do? Make sure you’re not too close. You’re either still trying to be friends or you’re too cold and say you can’t be friends.  You have to find a balance. Be aware of the potential of favoritism. Learn to manage effectively and be honest with everybody. As a manager, you have to be more aware of what you say.  You’re in a different role now. You can have open conversations with your team and ask them to respect your position. You can’t complain anymore. Say something like “I know it’s challenging, I know it’s difficult, and yes we’ll have to figure out how to get it done, and we’re going to go do it.”

Book:  The 5 Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell

Are you a manager who doesn’t have any meetings?

Do you feel like you talk enough to your team so you don’t need meetings?  Do you think they all know what’s going on? This is wrong. You need to have meetings or messages get jumbled, the communication is not detailed enough, and the communication is not often enough.  And sometimes you miss people because they won’t speak up. Have regularly scheduled meetings. They can be short, but effective. Maybe do a 15-minute daily huddle.

Meeting Ideas:

  • Hold a meeting with yourself in the morning.  Block out time to plan for the day.
  • Daily huddles (great for fast-paced organizations)
  • Weekly meetings
  • Quarterly meetings (if you have a larger team)

Each meeting might be focused on different things.  

If you’re a new manager, and you’re struggling with this new role, we’d love to chat with you about how we might be able to help. Contact us at 614-306-7922.

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