What new managers need to know

I swear I thought I was a coach for new managers?! cool

So tell me why, as I was browsing through Audible the other day, one of the books recommended to me was: What to expect while you’re expecting?

I’m not sure why the algorithm suggested this book to me 🤷🏾… but it did and it gave me an idea for this week’s topic!

So thank goodness for the warped algorithm 😉

In this week’s video on MakTV I share what all new managers need to know as they start out. Specifically 5 things you can expect in your new role.  The examples are pulled from my own experiences as a new manager as well as some of my clients.

I’ve even included a mini clip of an interview I did with a fellow leader on what her expectations were and the reality check she got once she was actually sitting in the seat figuratively speaking.

Would you prefer to read rather than watch? Not to worry! You can read the blog post below. 

But first, to really help you stand out in your new role I highly recommend downloading the New Manager Starter Kit. A free downloadable interactive guide to help you show up and stand out and take the right action steps.

#1 – What you are expecting is most like the opposite of what you are thinking

A couple weeks back in my facebook group, I interviewed a now seasoned leader about what she expected in the beginning stages and this is what she said:

“I was super excited for the opportunity. And I really thought that being a manager meant just telling people what to do. I quickly realized that it’s not that at all. You don’t just tell people what to do and it’s not just about meeting targets. That’s just not the way it goes. I then realized, uh oh! This, meaning I need more work!” Onica Baxter

Onica is just one of many new managers I’ve spoken with who had to shift her expectations and eventually seek to fill the gaps that she realized she was missing. This is very common.

I certainly had it too! Even though you’re anxious and have an idea that things are going to change, it doesn’t mean you actually know what those changes are or what’s expected of you.

I personally think it’s because of what is portrayed in movies and TV, as well as, what we see all around us on a day to day basis within corporate. As new managers, we tend to think we understand what management is all about based on what we see others doing.

But what new managers (such as yourself  smile) need to know is what we see others doing could either be wrong… or a very small portion of what they are actually doing.

The good news is that once you understand your role as a new manager is really about helping a group of people to achieve consistent outcomes life becomes easier. Not easy, but definitely easi

#2 – You will make mistakes

Now I know that I’m talking to some perfectionists so I want you to know that as you step into the deep-end not everything is going to go as planned.

Here’s the deal:  you’re dealing with people, resources, and yourself. Those are a lot of different variables to get just right all the time.

Besides, new managers are still human, so it’s only expected that you will mess up from time to time.

But as I mentioned in a previous video where I spoke candidly about my own experience,  you should embrace the challenges you will inevitably face as a learning journey.

Learn from your mistakes and keep moving ahead. Don’t beat yourself up, or feel like you’re some sort of failure because you didn’t say something the way you wanted to a team member.

Just remember to adjust for next time.

#3 – People are not just going to trust and respect you because you have a title

A Harvard Business Review survey found that 58% of people trust a stranger over their boss. A complete stranger over their boss!

That survey just goes to show that having this title doesn’t instantly make people trust or respect you. It needs to be earned.

And it’s earned through the consistent deposits that you make into them and the team as a whole.

As new managers, there are certain strategies you can implement in order to fast track trust-building.  I discuss these in The New Manager Accelerator Program as I walk you through specific proven methods that will help you to climb up that trust curb with team members quickly. But for the most part, it’s important for you to understand this is a process that requires specific actions from you and not something that happens overnight.

#4 – You are going to hold on to your individual contributor work for far longer than you should

I’ve spoken about this before in this article while discussing the first week of onboarding, but I’m going to say it again. For almost everyone moving from individual contributor to manager, it is not a light-switch moment. You will most likely not be one day, I’m really good at answering the phones and the next leading the team.

There is always a transition period.

However, a mistake I notice with many new managers is that they hold on to the old work for far too long.

Sometimes this happens out of comfort.

Taking on this role as a manager is going to stretch you and there will be moments when you’re feeling uncomfortable and your default setting will be to go back to what you know really well.

But that doesn’t help anyone – especially you.

I made this mistake when I first started out too! For a full year, I was trying to do both things. And the excuse I had was, Well, everyone else on the team is too busy to do what I’m doing for them.

But the truth is, I was not properly allocating resources. And I was not automating enough to free up the time of those that could have been doing higher priority work. I also didn’t understand the proper way of delegating!

I got super exhausted doing this and I would not recommend it to anyone!

# 5 – Your natural inclination is going to be to tell people what to do when they ask you.

I was on a coaching call with a client not too long ago and she mentioned that her workload was ridiculous.

So naturally, she and I started going over some of what she was doing and we started coming up with a strategy to help her delegate some of what she was doing.

Throughout the session though, I noticed that she kept talking about the fact that what was causing her workload to feel overwhelming was the fact that she would be peppered with questions all day long.

So I asked her to walk me through what she does when someone asks her a question,

She proceeded to walk me through how she would stop what she was doing to answer the question or solve the problem.

After digging several layers deep we realized that she was creating dependencies.

Yes, you are there to support your team members but you also have to empower them. This means sometimes taking a step back and asking them what they think, or asking them to share their thoughts on a solution rather than just solving for them is the right path to take.

Now, if you are a problem solver by nature, this is going to be hard.

But think of it this way: you’re not always going to be around. You might get sick, or you might want to take a vacation one day! This means the team has to learn how to function without you… which means you have to start training them for those days.

And as an added bonus you will find that your day isn’t spent putting out fire after fire or answering many questions, because people will come to you with their thoughts or a solution rather than asking for one.

There you have it, 5 things to expect as you embark on this exciting journey as a brand new manager.

I hope you found this article valuable and if you are looking for a step by step process to help you accelerate your growth in your new role, then check out the details of my accelerator program here.