Or the first-time manager’s survival manual in 18 tips.
- You will be wrong many times
- When you are promoted amongst your peers and you rise from being a team member to being the leader of the team, some of the people who once supported you, will begin to see you as competition.
- Think of yourself as the organisation’s shock absorber. A huge part of your job will be soaking up the pressure from above while cushioning the impact for others.
- Managing people (upwards, downwards and sideways) and keeping them feeling supported, confident and on track takes its toll. Never forget that in order for you to be the best version of yourself for everyone else, you must make a habit of prioritising your emotional and mental health.
- The skills that get you the job are never enough to keep you there.
- You must remember that leadership is rarely about dangling your expertise in your team’s face. Your job is to inspire, enable and co-create.
- When you are brainstorming with your team, make a habit out of being the last to speak.
- Build your own community of peer leaders with whom you can trade learnings.
- Conventional wisdom will tell you that it is a leader’s birthright to be right. Right feels good but do not become one of those miserable people who are wrong and strong. Accept that it’s okay to apologise.
- It is true that the workplace is a popularity contest, but never forget that it’s more important to be respected than to be liked.
- Fair does not always mean equal. While you must strive to be fair in your dealings with everyone on your team, your relationship with them is a two-way street. Every member of your team has the responsibility to give their best effort and your engagement with them should be directly proportional to their own commitment and performance.
- It is more important to be genuinely kind than to be performatively nice. Be kind to people, no matter their title(s).
- Learn the fundamentals of everything everyone on your team does. Amongst other things, it will be your saving grace when people up and leave.
- Some things will go wrong and there will be the need for a fall guy. Practice taking the blame and passing along the credit.
- Being a people’s manager can be a thankless job. Sometimes, you will do your best to offer guidance and show paths for growth and yet there will be people who refuse to grow. This is more a reflection of them than you. Do not own their failures as your own.
- There are three magic words that will change your life for the better. Here they are: “I don’t know.”
- The ultimate goal is to groom your replacement. Leaders creating leaders should be the cycle of life.
- You may not be a natural leader and that’s okay. We’re all making this up as we go along.
20 thoughts on “18 THINGS NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT BEING A FIRST-TIME MANAGER”
Some people take kindness as a sign of weakness
That does happen. However, it shouldn’t hold us back from giving the best parts of ourselves. Thanks for reading Roro.
Thanks for this.
Thanks for reading Michael!
Thank you Terver for this. Is there a way to carry this everywhere like a small reminder note?
Thanks Etty. I have this broken down into note sliders on my Instagram page. You can check @onetivgirl to see.
I think this is a must read for anyone Intentional about growth, not only managers.
I smell some hint of personal experiences??
Thanks for sharing.
LOL! I agree. Thanks for reading Thomas
Thank you for this piece Terver. This a great guide for everyone who aspires to leadership and a refresher for those already leaders!
Thanks for reading Ajoke!
Thanks for reading Chineye!
Very interesting piece drawn from experience.
Very solid. Thanks for documenting this and sharing. #7 still dey ring for my head.
Thanks for reading Adeola!
Thanks for reading Zeenat!
I love this. I love your blog.
I love no6. I have shared the link with my connections.on twitter and Facebook.
Please keep posting on Facebook.
Will do! Thanks for reading again Tim.