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Top ten tips for managers by Mark Wagner

Friday January 27, 2012

You've been working hard, you are a business expert and everyone knows how good you are at your job and now that special day has come that the boss invites you into his/her office and gives you the promotion you have been working for.

Great news - right?

You are now a boss, you now have people reporting to you and your whole working life is now about to change forever. Here’s a few tips to avoid those common first time manager mistakes

1. You are now bottom of a new ladder

Leadership requires a completely different skill-set to the one you required as a subject matter expert. Never think that promotion is the end of your learning journey it's actually just the beginning.

2. Remember it's never about you

The old mentality of believing that a team’s works to support the boss is outdated, the leader exists to ensure that his or her team has everything they need, direction, a shared vision, skills and resources.

3. Accept that you will make mistakes

Nobody has ever started a new job and never made any mistakes and you won't be the first. The big difference is that this time your mistakes are likely to affect your team. Don't beat yourself up just apologize, learn from your mistakes and become a better leader

4. Hide your frustrations

The days of moaning about the company or even worse moaning about colleagues are gone. You now represent the company so everything you say will be seen as a company statement regardless of its intent

5. Talk to your boss

With a new job it's likely you will have a new boss. Talk to him or her and find out their expectations of you, how they want to be updated and what their priorities are for the company

6. Talk to your team

Every one of your new team will have a slightly different idea of what your role should be and what you should be doing. Talk to your team and find out what they expect from you and explain what you want from them

7. Lead by example

Whatever is contained in the companies’ code of conduct or the performance plans people will always learn what behavior is acceptable by your actions. You have to demonstrate the behavior you want from your team, if you don't you will never be seen as a leader

8. Understand the organizational culture

Every company has its own culture it's vital to understand what it is. Each company has HR policies of different severity. Get to grips with the feel of the company so that you don't accidentally come across as too tough or too soft.

9. Be prepared to be unpopular

There will always be times that the needs of the company will conflict with the needs of some individuals. Always explain your reasons, people may not agree but they will respect you. Remember you can lead a team if people don't like you but you can't lead if they don't respect you

10. Don't change who you are

The most common mistake that new managers make is that they try to become someone else or the kind of person they think a manager should be. One of the reasons you got this job is because you are you. By all means aim to be a better person but don't deviate too far from who you really are.

Mark Wager is a Leadership Coach with Elite LD Limited, Mark specialises in developing leadership

development programs which enable people to fulfill their potential. Mark can be contacted on +64 21 354 831 or mark@eliteld.co.nz

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