I remember the first time I got promoted from being an entry level high performing employee to becoming a first time supervisor. I went from being one of the best to being a rookie real quick. In some sort of analogy, it’s like having your own children. Before getting promoted, I was only responsible for myself first and foremost, just 1 person. As a manager of a small team, I now have people I have to look out for. The decisions I made every time now affected all of them and their careers, such a huge responsibility.
So now, how do you make the transition from being a good worker produced excellent results which in turn rewarded you with a promotion and start to manage others to achieve the same or even better levels of success? A tall task indeed.
The 1st important step is to MANAGE YOURSELF. This begins with the obvious: being and staying in good shape, eating well and getting enough sleep to function well. This also includes you learning how to be accountable for all your actions, performing at your best, learning how to become a good listener, knowing when to speak or take action, and so on. As a manager, you’re now LEADING BY EXAMPLE, and with that, you set the tone for your entire team that you’re responsible for.
You’re now in charge of motivating your team to perform at their highest levels possible at work, getting them to run on all cylinders like a well oiled machine that gets the job completed. These are some of the things leaders learn on the fly and not born with. And that’s why I believe that leaders are made with real experience and not with books.
You now set the standard for your own personal excellence, through taking added training and motivating your team to do so as well! You also would want to learn new skills like public speaking even if it means that you have stage fright and being the most positive person in your team. Being positive is very important in getting your team members to trust you, as they need to feel that you’re loyal to them and that you’re looking out for their best interests, always. They’ll need to have a comfort level of approaching you with ideas that they may have and that you will act upon any feedback or suggestions they would give you.
In most cases, being a leader means getting the best and most talented people, then just stepping aside so that they can flourish in their roles.
What I learned throughout my almost 2 decades of management life is that your employees will perform at their very best when they work for someone who they truly believe in and can turn to in times of need. They will also expect you to perform at your best in your area of expertise. With that being said, realize your weaknesses and theirs, including pointing out areas of improvement and opportunities to grow.
Question of the day: What’s the biggest challenge you face as a manager and why?