As experienced managers like George Bardwil can tell you, if you have been promoted in your job to management, it means that your boss has a lot of confidence in you. This isn’t a decision that your boss took lightly, and you can be sure that there was a lot of discussion about you, and about your ability to take on the responsibilities of your new position. Here are some things to keep in mind so that no one regrets that decision.
Be a positive role model
The chances are that you can probably recall times when your past behavior was less than managerial. Moments of complaining about the boss, of leaving work early, of gossiping about co-workers. Everyone has these moments – but as a new manager, you are no longer allowed to indulge. To be clear, you will probably hear and see the same sorts of things among management as well, but as a new member of the management team, your job is to appear professional and impersonal at all times. Bring your A game and nothing less.
Redefine your relationships
In the same way as your former manager will have to redefine their relationship with you as a new member of the management team, you will need to redefine your relationships with your former peers. A conversation, no matter how awkward, needs to happen with your former office mates pretty much right away. Depending on how close you were, you many need to have an explicit understanding that friendships need to be kept outside of the office. Similarly, you should try to establish a new normal with anyone that you did not have a great relationship with previously – your job now is to manage the entire team, and you must reassure everyone that their contributions and participation are welcome and valued.
Focus on the big picture
As a member of the management team, your priorities and responsibilities have widened and you cannot afford to let loyalties to your old department or colleagues cloud your judgement or complicate decisions that need to be made with the well-being of the entire company in mind. Your first job as a new manager is to be sure that you are informed about the priorities of the company as a whole, and to work with the people you are supervising to achieve those goals.
Seek inspiration and knowledge
Find out if there is a mentoring program for new managers and if there is, be sure to take part. Learning from people who have gone before you is a great way to gain insight and understanding of the challenges you are about to face. Make sure that you understand your new boss’ priorities and work to help him or her achieve those. Learn about the company from your new perspective. If there are workshops or seminars, take them. If there are meetings that you can attend, be there. If there are manuals and policies, read them. And if there are personnel files, review them so that you have a new perspective of the strengths and skills of the team you are managing.
Taking on new responsibilities in your business means lots of work and dedication – just remember that you were promoted because your boss has faith in you, and you can rise to the challenge!