Traits of a Manager
After becoming promoted to a managerial role, you may be experiencing mixed emotions and confused at how you take on your new role. Yet, making mistakes towards or surrounded by your new employees can damage your leadership reputation and skills and cause you to get off on a wrong step. Typically, newly promoted managers receive little or no training before starting the job, and can make the transition even more confusing and difficult. What makes it worse is that management is primarily learned from on-the-job experiences, by doing, observing and interacting with others, but there are items you can know in advance to avoid.
Just because you were promoted to manager doesn’t mean that you know everything nor should you think you know everything. Even if you did know everything, you sure don’t know everything about the most important part of your new job, managing people. Listen to the people around you and ask for their input when appropriate.
Everyone will know that you have been promoted to the new manager role and therefore you don’t need to make a big show about being boss. You should instead spend that time showing that you are going to bring positive leadership and commitment to your team. As their new leader you should be learning what makes them excited, how to motivate them, what they fear or worry about. Your team is what will make or break you in your role as a strong, positive manager. It is also your responsibility to stand up for your employees and make sure they are treated as fairly as possible and then in turn they will return the loyalty. Connected to this as the manager you are also responsible for everything that happens in your group, negative or positive, or whether you knew about it, or not. Anything that one of your employees does, or doesn’t do, reflects on you and your leadership.
One item that you don’t need to know once you are promoted to manager is re-inventing the wheel or current processes in place. As a new manager you need to learn the difference between “different” and “wrong” practices. “Wrong” practices are items you can change or improve, but “different” practices should still be valued. Don’t let your fear keep you from doing the job the best you can because the one thing you can remember is that you were promoted for a reason and higher management had the confidence you could handle this role otherwise they wouldn’t have promoted you. Be sure to continue scheduling time with your boss to receive guidance and training from them and to discuss leadership questions you have.
The last thing to remember is just because you are the leader of the group doesn’t mean you can’t be human, can’t laugh, show emotions, or make the occasional mistake.