5 Keys to Success as a New Manager from Someone Who Failed in 90 Days

5 metal keys hanging from a ring with one inserted into a door lock to symbolize succeeding as a new manager

We recently interviewed a high potential individual contributor who was promoted to management.  He was a superstar before he got promoted.  Surprisingly and unfortunately for him and his company, he got demoted 90 days into his new role.  Don’t let this be your story.

As a new manager you want to come on strong, but not too strong; likeable but still with authority; expecting excellence but not unrealistically demanding. Where is the happy medium?

Here are his 5 tips for finding the right balance from the start:

  1. Know your team. Take time at first to get the lay of the land and to know your team members on an individual basis. Learn about your responsibilities and what is expected of your team.  When you understand the strengths of your team and what motivates your workers, you will be better able to set goals and performance expectations.  If you worked with them previously, do not assume that you know answers to these questions.
  2. Know yourself. Figure out what management style suits you and fits best with the individuals on your team. Find a happy medium between over- or under-supervising. Be clear as you assign roles and responsibilities but then back off to give team members an opportunity to operate on their own.  Remember, your success depends upon the success of your team, not your heroic individual efforts.
  3.  Insist upon excellence. Once the team is clear about goals and performance expectations, it is your job to hold them accountable. Be ready with support and coaching but, if you have a consistent under-performer, move them on and hire only the best.  If you do not have consequences for under-performance, overall performance will be weak. 
  4. Be accessible and give frequent feedback. Be an active coach and deliver both positive and negative feedback in small doses on a regular basis. Stay available to your team to answer questions, address issues or welcome innovative ideas. And don’t forget to recognize a job well done.  High performance should be acknowledged and rewarded if you want it to set the standard and continue.
  5. Manage sideways and up as well as down. Good managers network effectively in all directions so they can learn from mentors, cooperate with peers and support their team at multiple levels.  Do not underestimate the importance of having others “on your side.”
Learn more at: http://www.lsaglobal.com/new-supervisor-new-manager-training/