Moving from Individual Contributor to Manager (not shown)
A manager’s success doesn’t hinge individual achievement, but rather how well he or she can motivate a team to contribute at its highest level.
How does a new manager become a great manager? Below are five of the most important mindset changes managers need to adopt from day one.
1. Manage Others’ Time
In addition to managing your own time—which is tricky when you must accept additional responsibilities—a good manager sets schedules for others to meet. This doesn’t mean micromanaging each employee’s calendar, but it does mean clarifying priorities with your staff.
If a subordinate is behind or has failed to meet a goal, that’s their problem, right? Wrong! When you accept the role of manager, you accept responsibility for all work being done well and on time, whether you’re actually doing that work or not.
2. Satisfaction Becomes More Abstract
A manager’s satisfaction is often indirect. It comes from taking pride in helping others succeed, versus completing the job alone. Learning how to properly delegate work enables you to make room for other managerial responsibilities while also helping your subordinates develop important skills.
Acknowledging employees’ accomplishments when they do well ensures they’ll be excited to take on future tasks. If you find yourself only pointing out mistakes or problems, it won’t be long before morale and workmanship are depleted. Mistakes are bound to happen and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. But bringing mistakes to employees’ attention must be balanced with acknowledgement when a job is well done.
3. Shift in Job Evaluation
Your performance is no longer judged by the boss alone. It is also judged by those who report to you. It’s important that you stay aware of how employees perceive you (and that does mean asking for feedback from time-to-time).
When you become manager, it does not mean that you are immune to criticism and evaluation, and your position doesn’t allow you to slack off. Being a manager also doesn’t mean that you should be perfect. Especially for new managers, it will take some time to adjust to your position. This is why it’s important to be open to feedback and aware that there’s always room for improvement.
4. Problem Solving
A manager must deal with all types of problems, some of which include:
- Operational – Why did we miss our numbers last month?
- Interpersonal – How can I help my subordinates better manage conflict?
- Strategic – Do I have the right people in the right positions?
Managers must have fundamental problem-solving skills and know when to seek input from others. You won’t always have all the answers, but you can make sure you ask the right people the right questions.
Problem solving might seem like a skill that mainly requires rationality and solid logic, but successful problem solving is also creative. Sometimes the best solution is completely out of the box. A successful manager will be able to solve problems resourcefully and with an open mind.
5. Key Resources are People
Because a manager must get things done through others, people are your best asset. Taking the time to learn the strengths of each person on your team (and manage them accordingly) not only ensures that you are challenging people and bringing out their best, but let’s them know you care about them.
When employees know that they are valuable to you and the efforts of the organization as a whole, they take pride in their work. After all, that’s why you’re making such an effort to be a great manager, right?
These are just five important elements of great management. Feel free to add to the list by leaving a comment below!
Recommended Video Training Resources:
• After All, You’re the Supervisor, critical skills necessary to supervise others
• Peer Today, Boss Tomorrow — now to navigate your changing role
• Leaders of Character - Leadership: The West Point Way — fundamental leadership principals and how to apply them.