10 Lessons for New Managers
That I wish I knew when I started.
managers resource handbook.com
For some new managersâ¦
â¦giving feedback and being responsible for
people is intimidating.
Others are uncomfortable managing people
older than them.
And then there are others who are afraid of
being accepted by their new team.
I, too, had these fears.
But over time, I learned a lot from peers, from
mentors, and from my own employees.
I made some terrible mistakes, and I had some
pretty good successes.
So here are some pointers for those of you
beginning your management careers.
Letâs get startedâ¦
1. Dress the Part
This was some of the most unusual advice I got
early in my career, but also some of the best.
Unless youâre working for a hippie startup that
encourages you to wear Birkenstocks, dress as
As soon as I started following this advice, I got
more âhellosâ in the hallwayâ¦
â¦and found myself sitting in more meetings
with upper management.
Dressing professionally doesnât make you a
But you will find that others take you more
Including your new employees.
2. Stay Professional
As a manager, you are in a position of
authority, regardless of how you may see it.
You canât earn a bad reputation for being
even keeled and remaining objective.
But fiery managers who cross the line of
professionalism will never shake the reputation.
Business is business.
Your reputation will either help you get things
done, or become a roadblock to your success.
3. Get to Know Every Employee
No matter how busy you get, understanding
each employee is extremely important.
Not just their skills, but their personalities, their
interests and the sources of motivation.
Take them out for lunch.
Set up a social hour after work.
As a manager, you are responsible for the
teamâs ability to perform.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses will
help you pilot the team through challenges.
4. Chin Up
Management is not always easy.
Economic and organizational changes will
cause jitters among your staff.
When there is uncertainty, your people will
follow your lead.
Managers are like mirrors.
You mood and your attitude are going to be
reflected in the behavior of your employees.
If you are routinely negative, overly emotional,
or hyper-critical of others, your employees are
likely to demonstrate similar behaviorâ¦
â¦because you showed them that it was ok.
You are responsible for the teamâs ability to
No matter what challenges come your way,
keep your chin up.
A positive attitude will help the team maintain
focus and endure the ups and downs.
5. The Policy of Honesty
A highly trusted employee once thanked me
for being honest with the team.
âItâs refreshing to work for someone who is will
to tell us whatâs really going on,â he said.
It may sound simple.
But a policy of honesty helps keep you
connected with your team.
Plus, honesty encourages your employees to
trust you, and willing to follow your lead.
Even better, being open about issues the
team is facing invites their ideas and solutions.
6. Roll Up Your Sleeves
Managing a group of people is easier when
they respect you.
But gaining this respect can be difficult.
Especially when employees cannot recognize
your experience or knowledge.
You may not be (and likely wonât be) the
expert in the room.
So dive in to help solve a problem along side them.
Donât be afraid to throw ideas into the mix.
When employees see you jumping in with two
feet, theyâll see you as a participantâ¦
â¦and not just a boss.
7. Emphasize Teamwork
People new to management are often
excited to be in charge of the destiny.
This is true: you are in charge.
But many new managers are slow to realize
that they themselves cannot do it all.
The sooner you see that your team is your new
source of success, the better off you will be.
Encourage them to work together and to
share the pain along with success.
And be right there with them.
A group rowing in unison is far faster than even
the best of individual paddlers.
8. Be There For Your Employees
Both personally and professionally, making
yourself available to your employees is a sign
of your leadership.
On a professional levelâ¦
â¦this means keeping the door open even
when you really donât want to be disturbed.
On a personal levelâ¦
â¦this means listening carefully, and offering
support when they need someone to talk to.
You spend a lot of time in the office.
And so do they.
Go out of your way to show you care.
9. Develop a Strategy For Success
Successful managers do not simply walk into
the office and roll with the punches.
Instead, good managers develop a strategy
by which they run their organization.
Establish long term plans to deliver your metrics.
Meticulously plan three steps ahead.
And deliberately develop your people to
make them even better.
If you do it right and are able to deliver results,
your employees will have confidence in you.
10. Lead the Way You Want to Be Led
Even the most effective managers have role
models from whom they seek inspiration.
Managing people will throw numerous
challenges your way.
From time to time, it will be difficult to think
Things like budget constraints, restructuring
and other pressures can wear on you.
Combine the qualities of the best managers
you ever had.
How would they deal with these problems?
And avoid the weaknesses and failings of the
How would the not-so-good ones handle this
Simply put, be the boss you would want to
So there it is.
10 things I wish I knew when I started.
I hope this helps.
For those of you who are new to
Welcome to the club.
We are here to help.
The Manager's Resource Handbook is an online source of tools,
templates and articles relating to business and management in
the global environment. Our mission is the help managers and
businesses succeed through the benefit of our experience.
You can contact us at