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Shifting from founder – with just a few people – to manager can be easy for some people, but over-whelming to others. Either way, no one starts off as the perfect manager. No matter how much you’ve prepared to have more of a leadership role, there’s still a lot to learn. Here are 10 leadership tips every new manager should know. For starters, you should recognize that you need to be a good manager to grow your company. Now, let’s get you prepped to be an “excellent” manager!
1. The Learning Process has “just begun”. All those years of hard work & product development are the reason you are where you are today. You’ve proven your knowledge and expertise in creating a new product or service and now it’s your turn to be the manager of your organization. If anything, being a manager involves more communication & teamwork on your end. Get ready to learn from every source you can (ie, courses, books, articles, etc).
2. Communication is the Key. We’ve all heard this one before, but communication with your team & other workers is vital to your success as their manager. Not only will this assist in establishing your credibility, but it will also help you gain the support of your team. Make sure you’re fully informed about what the status is of projects your Team is working on. Decide what priorities are and deadlines are coming up. Knowing this information will help you understand what your team’s schedule looks like, as well as areas where you may need to step in to help.
3. Lead by Example. Your Team & employees will look up to you as a role model. Set a good example by abiding by the same level of professionalism that you expect from them. If you’re a stickler for being on time, make it a point to start meetings on time. In the end, it’s these small actions that can make the biggest difference.
4. Feedback. Every employee loves an open & honest workplace. But sometimes people have difficulty speaking up about certain issues. As the manager, your team’s feedback & input should be important to you. If you have an “open door” policy, make sure your employees know you’ll make time for them. This way your team will recognize your willingness to listen and be a part of the solution.
5. Acknowledgement. Celebrating and publicly announcing the achievements & efforts of your employees is a great way to build their confidence and keep them motivated. Not every effort requires a huge celebration or award, but praise & positive feedback should be a part of your daily inter-actions with your team. Sending an Email or handwritten note recognizing an employee – for a job well done – offers immediate feedback and serves as a acknowledgement of their accomplishment.
6. Be Decisive. A great leader needs to make decisions and stand by them. Your employees will “not” feel confident with a manager who doesn’t know what they want. Let them know when you need more time for deliberation and when they can expect a decision.
7. Everyone is a Part of the ‘Big Picture’. It’s important that your team is aware of their impact on the company. Make sure to show how their efforts help contribute to the organization’s objectives. For example, if the goal is to increase sales and they are spending more time contacting potential customers, then there is a connection. When they realize the weight of their actions on overall company goals, they will be motivated to put forth their best effort.
8. Create an “environment” for Growth. Encouraging growth within your team is always beneficial. Support them in taking on new tasks & experimenting with new methods. When things don’t go as planned, use them as “learning” opportunities. This will inspire your employees to continue striving for new, innovative techniques also.
9. Be there for Professional Guidance. Good managers/ leaders also act as Mentors to their employees. Challenges & growth is a priority for most employees, so make yourself available and show them you’re interested in their development within the organization. A study done by the Society of Human Resources in May reported that job seekers looked for promotional opportunities and job growth above all else when considering a company. Never under-estimate the power of positive encouragement & feedback. Your employees will truly appreciate your interest in their development & growth.
10. Patience. Last but not least, be patient! Managerial skills are not acquired overnight. In the meantime, as your skills are being developed, don’t be shy to seek guidance from a mentor, your colleagues & co-workers. Don’t worry about looking weak or unprepared. Learning from others will help form you into a truly “great” manager.
Comments: Share your story with us. We want to know how these tips and/or other tips have helped you on your road founder to manager of a growing organization.