Tuesday, April 16, 2013

3 Lessons Every New Manager Needs to Learn

There is a first time for everything. Your first bike ride. Your first report card. Your first car. Your first time
as manager.

For those first three, you probably had a lot of help from a parent, a teacher or an instructor. When it comes to taking over the reins of management, you probably learned as much from the bad managers as with the good managers you've had to work with.

Hopefully, those lessons will prove valuable as you move into this next chapter of your career. After unpacking your office and making sure they spelled your name right on the door, you'll want to consider these top three lessons every new manager needs to learn:

Not Every Employee Will Stick Around

As a manager you are taking responsibility for your team. You want them all to shine and live up to their potential. But guess what? For some they may decide that they will grow better at another company. There is nothing wrong with hiring personnel that you know might only stick around for a few years.
As long as they get the job done, they don't have to aspire to the lofty heights of the corporate tower. This means that you should embrace employee turnover. Mixing up the staff can be a good thing and keep everyone on their toes. However, for those team members who do excel you want to keep them around. It doesn't make sense to get rid of your heavy hitters.

Be the Boss in the Decision Making Process

A good manager will listen to their staff. Keeping those lines of communication open is vital to maintaining a productive work atmosphere. Yet, when it is time to make a final decision you need to become the ultimate "decider." It won't be uncommon for you to look around your conference room and find that the majority of your staff disagrees with a particular decision. If the workplace was a democracy this would matter. It's not and that's why you have to step up and pull the trigger on the decision. Sink or swim, this is what a manager does.

Be Friendly but Don't Be a Friend

Many companies are proud to boast that their workers are like one big family. While it is true that this can create big returns in terms of productivity it can also become a major hindrance. If tough choices have to be made about the direction of your company you're going to have an extremely hard time letting down "your family."

This doesn't mean you can't be friendly with your staff. In fact, you should. However, there is a vast difference between going out for the occasional lunch or happy hour and becoming so immersed with all the ups and downs of their private lives. It's always best to keep it professional. 

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