The transition from employee to manager can be overwhelming. Suddenly, you’re responsible for leading and motivating your team to accomplish key goals for your organization. No matter how hard you’ve worked and prepared for this day and position, there’s still a long way to go.
Here are 8 leadership tips to help you make the transition:
1. Know your strengths As a manager, your day-to-day activities and overall role undergo a change. Instead of doing the work, you will now be planning, organizing and overseeing the execution. The challenge is to understand how the skills you gained in the previous position can help in your new one. Pay attention to expectations and figure out how to use your strengths to work in different ways.
2. Be decisive A good manager needs to make decisions and stick to them. You can gain respect from your team and seniors if you assert your authority without showing signs of dictatorship. Going back and forth on your decisions will brand you unsure and incapable.
3. Transparency is essential You will be more involved in planning and strategizing in your new role and it is important to keep your team informed about what’s going on. If you withhold information, you may be seen as uncommunicative. Transparency ensures that your team understands their role as part of the bigger picture and feels connected to the organization.
4. Establish good working relationships One mistake new managers often make is failing to create strong relationships with their team members. They often default to "performance" mode and are chiefly concerned with their own productivity. Getting to know your team members and creating a rapport with them is a great way to ensure team productivity.
5. Give credit when deserved A good manger will try to create a culture based on appreciation and recognition when it’s due. This fosters a positive environment and a culture of gratitude.
6. Accept feedback but follow your unique way to lead As you take over the reins of your new position, there will be plenty of advice on how to lead. Listen and find a mentor but work out your own style of leadership. Ask yourself: ‘Why would anyone follow me?’ This will help you figure out how you can lead in your own way. Don’t blindly ape what the previous manager did.
7. Agree that you have a lot to learn You were promoted to the managerial post for the expertise and skills you demonstrated. However, keep yourself open to learning – from peers as well as subordinates. Be receptive to watching and learning from other managers and your seniors.
8. Set a good example A good manger leads by example and you must strive to set a standard that you wish your team to follow. If you expect error-free reports, make sure you set an example. If you want submissions on time, ensure you stick to deadlines. No amount of speeches will have as big an effect on your team as your actions.
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