Management Matters: is a New Article series dealing with the issues that arise when managing personnel and how to optimize your current staff in a company.
The Ultimate Management Checklist
September 1st, 2011
The move up the corporate ladder to the management level has many perils, including when you are the new boss for your former peers. This, in addition to the many other challenges that people face when taking their next step up can be extremely overwhelming and cause some anxiety, but for others may seem simple and easy (especially if it was a long transition). Career coach and author Sherri Thomas warns executives of some pitfalls they may encounter along the way:
Beware the two extremes. New managers often fall into one of two categories: Overbearing and power-happy or unable to step up to the plate and manage even the simplest projects. Your former friends can easily turn on you if you adopt either persona.
Don’t undermine your new position. On the other end are the new managers who spend all of their time worried about losing the friendship of the former peers they now manage. Be sure to quell problems quickly rather than let them languish. Take a softer approach when appropriate, but if you need to take charge, do so.
Strengthen your credibility. As a new manager, you need to understand senior management’s expectations of you and your team. Go to your supervisor and develop an outline for what’s expected of you. Call a meeting with your staff to give an overview so there’s less chance they’ll feel left in the dark.
Align your expectations with those of your team. It is important to understand your team members’ needs and to help them realize their unique contributions to the team. Take the time to meet one-on-one with them and discuss their roles and responsibilities.
Establish a support network. One area new managers often overlook is establishing a strong network of mentors and coaches who can provide strategies, support, and inspiration needed to succeed.
Realize that mistakes are OK. Everyone makes mistakes, especially in those first few months.
With these tips in mind, it is important to take each step with caution and meet each challenge you may have straight on. Getting issues out into the open and addressing them right as they surface is critical in starting your management career successfully.