You’re the Boss: Now What? Top 5 Tips for New Managers

Congratulations! You have earned your stripes through hard work and dedication. Your company has rewarded you and upped the ante. YOU are now the boss. Feeling a little intimidated? That is completely natural and frankly expected. Here are 5 Tips for new managers that may ease your transition.

1.    Thoroughly Understand the Business as a Whole
Your level of responsibility has changed from day to day duties to what is in the best interest of the company as a whole. And changing gears like that is difficult. You’ll need to educate yourself in all aspects of the business, not just your department. Verse yourself in the customer base, company strategy and culture. Human resources and regulations are now very important as your role as a manager, so make sure to educate and familiarize yourself with these as well.

2.    Stay in the Trenches
In a management position, it is easy to lose sight of what got you this position in the first place. Obviously you were good at what you did; a promotion occurred. Be sure to build on your success but more importantly remember what got you to where you are. This humility of sorts will help with the new dynamic of manager/employee that will occur. Step away from the desk and “Walk the Halls” assessing any problems or great things that are happening in your department. Perhaps you will find the next Superstar in your group.

3.    Communicate Clearly
This may be the most important thing to take away. Now that you thoroughly understand the company and you’re staying in the trenches, now is the time to communicate clearly to your employees. With a crisp and clear communication line, there is less room for misinterpretation. Whether verbal or written, inform your team of the big picture so that they know why they do what they do. Connect the dots on how your team’s jobs affect the company and you will see a greater effort from those under your management. Practicing this type of communication will help with your own executive summaries as a part of the management team.

4.    Embrace the New Dynamic
The folks underneath your management were most likely co-workers just a short time ago. Now the relationships have shifted and they are probably awkward at best. To them you have switched to the dark side. But with proper delegation, clear communications, staying in the trenches and understanding the company as a whole, you can clearly and easily separate the business and personal dynamic that will occur. You’ll have to learn which employees need a macro style of leadership and which team members will need micro-managing.
*Hiring Tip: Reverse your thinking and fill the position based on character, not skill alone. You can always teach processes and skills to a person, but you cannot teach morals, character and goodwill.   

5.    Mastering Time Management
This certain skill is ever evolving. To succeed at time management means mastering the art of delegation. Your old position involved managing tasks. Now you will find yourself managing problems, people and strategy. Making time to plan will create time itself. Make a roadmap of what is important and delegate from there. Define the $500 work for yourself and delegate the $20 work to your team members. Create effective dashboard and reporting tools to review your management skills. Look for results and change what’s needed.

The management world is going to be a totally new environment and probably uncomfortable at first and that’s OK.  Take heart these 5 tips mentioned above and success will follow.

I wish you the best of luck!

AboutDoug Kordel

Doug Kordel, a graduate of The University of Dayton School of Law, joined Proforma in 2003 and leads the development of Proforma’s leadership and management teams, addresses high level operational issues and spearheads the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and processes. Doug also directs all aspects of Proforma's legal affairs and ensures protection of its legal rights. His expertise includes franchise law, corporate and transactional law, employment law, and dispute resolution. In 2013, Doug was named the winner of Crain’s Cleveland Business magazine’s General & In-House Counsel Summit Award. Prior to joining Proforma, Doug served as both in-house and outside legal counsel. He also holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Toledo, majoring in Information Systems and Operations Management.

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