You’ve finally earned your promotion, but what do you do now? Follow these tips for new managers to become successful quickly in a mission-critical role.
1. Don’t assume that the skills that helped you perform as a worker will help you succeed as a manager. You will need to adapt quickly the first time you need to navigate through office politics, present an idea to a high-profile customer or executive or fire a long-time coworker.
2. Get to know your team and let them know you. Virgin Founder Richard Branson says, “You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.” You will learn how to manage staff over time.
3. Keep friendships separate from business duties. If someone else on your team also applied for the supervisor position, speak to the individual privately. Also address any disciplinary issues privately.
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4. Understand your new responsibilities. Look into departmental goals, business objectives, what your predecessor did right and what needs improvement. Also clarify how your performance will be measured in your new position.
5. Set expectations early, for your staff and for yourself. What are your priorities for the first 90 days? You will never know how to become a supervisor until you jump into the situation.
6. Seek advice from your boss and your peers. No one expects you to recreate the wheel when experts have already proven what works.
7. Work on time management and delegation. Former President Ronald Reagan had recommended, “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority and don’t interfere.”
8. Pitch in. You are still a member of a team, even if you are the leader of it.
9. Strike a balance between control freak and wimp. You are now in charge, but you do not know everything. Ask for input from your staff and let the group create ideas that you never would have.
10. Manage your stress. Find the activities that help you to unwind after a long day, relax after a heated encounter or regroup after back-to-back meetings. Take time off when you need it. One of the most important responsibilities of a new supervisor is remain fresh and focused when your help is needed most.
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