What Every New Leader Needs To Know

What Every New Leader Needs To Know

What Every New Manager Needs To Know

By Mark Wager

It’s a cause for celebration, your hard work was been recognised and rewarded with a new role and new responsibilities. Congratulations!  you are now a Manager, yet it’s not all good news. A recent study by the Psychological Society showed that starting a new role is one of the top ten most stressful life events that people go through. It’s strange to think that what is meant to be a reward can easily become a punishment. Management can be difficult especially if this is your first time in such a responsible position. So here is a quick guide on what to do in your new managerial role.

Obtain your bosses definition of success

The first thing you need to do in a new managerial role is to make sure that you and your boss have the same expectations. Too often I see problems arise between Managers and their bosses when one party thinks they are doing a good job and the other disagrees. So it’s best to invest some time on training at the beginning to avoid issues later on. 

Ask your boss if in six months time he or she felt that your time was a complete success what would have happened. Ask them to define what success is, so there is no doubt in your mind what you have to do in order to be seen as having done a good job.

Provide your team with clarity 

The next step is to meet with your team. The purpose of this is to provide your team with clarity on what life is going to be like working with you. This is vital because the quality of the relationship between a person and their boss is the number one factor in determining if they leave or stay in their job. Remember people don’t leave companies they leave  bosses.

This is your opportunity to get rid of any preconceived assumptions the team may have and let people know what type of boss you are going to be. Explain what you expect form your team and what your team can expect from you.

Create a vision

The best Managers are also leaders and the best leaders are also storytellers. Create a vision, something that is greater than the sum of the individuals. The vision has to be big enough so that it can only be reached if everyone works together as a team yet not too big so as to avoid people not believing that the vision is possible.

The best stories have a hero, an obstacle that the hero has to overcome, an advisor that provides the hero with the knowledge they need in order to overcome obstacles and win the day. The best leaders understand that in the story it’s not them that’s the hero, the hero is the team and the leader is merely the guide.

Meet with each individual 

There’s going to be a lot of do when you first start and it’s going to be difficult to fit everything in within the time you have available but no matter how busy you are you have to prioritise your team. People will typically just do what is required yet to be successful you need people who are willing to go that extra mile, become proactive and be willing to take responsibility.

Every successful Manager knows what is most important for each member of their team. If you can identify a person’s passion and if you can help that person live that passion then you don’t have to worry about motivating that person because they will easily motivate themselves.

Define the culture 

One of the most successful coaches in the history of sports is Bill Walsh, former coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He wrote a book called “The Score Takes Care of Itself” in which he explained that the secret of his success was defining a culture within the team that encouraged the behaviours and habits that were required in order to be successful. Get the culture right and everything else takes care of itself.

The culture within your team already exists, a culture is defined by what behaviours are rewards and what behaviours are punished. It’s your duty as a Manager to define these boundaries clearly. Ask yourself in order to be successful what would each person have to do every day to separate great form average. Secondly how would you reward such behaviour.

Encourage feedback

In every new role, especially a managerial one there’s only one thing that is certain and that is that you will make mistakes. It’s  natural and they will happen. The Challenge that all leaders face is that people are reluctant to tell their boss when they have done something wrong and while this is understandable it does make life difficult for a manger to become better if they are unable to learn from their mistakes.

Talk to your team and make sure that they know that they have permission to raise concerns and report to you directly when they think something is wrong. Make sure you explain why and how you want to receive feedback. There will be times that the right decision is not the most popular decision and while this can’t always be avoided if you have established clear lines of communication your team will continue to grow and become successful.

It’s a challenge moving into a new role especially if it’s a promotion but with the right guidance you can become as successful in this new role as you were in your previous role, if not more successful.

About the Author

Mark Wager is a Leadership Coach with over thirty years of managerial experience across a range of industries. A former Broker Sales Manager with a London Finance House and a National Manager for the Ministry of Justice Mark specialises in working with Leaders helping them overcome the barriers, both technical and mental standing between themselves and success.

A strong believer in taking complex leadership & psychological theories and making them accessible to people regardless of their background, education or industry Mark has helped develop Leaders from some of New Zealand’s leading organisations such as Fisher & Paykel, Weta FX, Heartland Bank, NZRL, NZ Netball, NZ Soccer, NZ Basketball, Amnesty Int, Barnardos, Oxfam, Red Cross and many more.

Mark has limited availability for new clients so If you are serious about becoming more successful then contact Mark today.

Posted: Monday 6 March 2023

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