Not everyone is cut out to be a manager. Sometimes a terrific team player gets rewarded with a promotion only to flounder under the pressure of leadership. Other times a fresh hire will allow the newfound power to get to his or her head and cause all sorts of problems. Succeeding in a managerial position requires accountability, communication, and a certain degree of social grace. Yet even more than those, the transition into a managerial position requires perspective.
If you’re a newly installed manager, how can you prevent burning out like in the examples above? According to Forbes contributor Drew Hendricks, the key is to avoid several common mistakes that sink new managers. It’s important to incorporate this avoidance into your game plan.
First, you have to realize your promotion doesn’t automatically mean a great amount of authority:
“Keep your expectations low, and don’t expect a massive boost of authority to come from your new title. Your authority and influence will continue to grow and develop naturally, over time.”
Rather than boosting your power, transitioning into a managerial position just means that you become the most accountable of your team members. As Hendricks explains, becoming a manager can actually be somewhat constraining because you now operate at the whim of a much bigger fish located higher on the social ladder.
Another common manager faux pas is losing your self-innovating spirit:
“New managers may be so wrapped up in the tasks of their employees that they forget to cultivate the powerful and independent forces within themselves. A new manager role will likely enable you to spend more time optimizing the day-to-day roles and accomplishments of others, but don’t let that stop you from developing your own skills in the process.”
Hendricks recommends Sanjay Govil’s Four T’s — tenacity, technical skill, trust, and team — in order to balance job responsibilities with personal growth. (The Four T’s are explained more thoroughly in his piece, linked below)
Finally, new managers will sometimes exhaust their team with unrealistic expectations. The pressure to make an immediate splash is often overwhelming. No one wants to be painted as mediocre early on. Yet while it’s important to be ambitious, it’s foolish to go overboard.
“Expect your employees to strive to meet and exceed your established goals, but don’t let ambition prompt you to set goals that can’t be realistically met by your hard-working team.”
For more, read on at Forbes
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