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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Manager

The Business Mechanic Podcast with Vaughn Sigmon

Release Date: 10/30/2022

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When I became a people manager, I knew there were some things I would have to learn and develop.

I knew I would be responsible for making decisions, including some that may not be popular and maybe have more of a say in big decisions.

I didn't, however, anticipate some of the ways my day-to-day role would evolve.

Here are a few things I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out.

 

  1. It's lonely at the top.

One of the first thoughts I had as a manager was, "wait, where did everybody go?"

As a leader, your circle changes: you're on a different level than your former peers, and you may.

In fact, I learned a valuable early lesson about not making that separation from my former peers.

 What did I learn?

  1. It's not just about you anymore…

I'm an executor and an achiever, but being a manager is about more than that.

The transition to management means that the days of focusing on exceeding your own goals are gone: now, your focus is on bringing the whole team along to success.

How do you get others to have the same drive and determination you have?

Especially When you're used to spending time cranking out your own work, You will need to learn to work a different muscle that's focused on leading and growing your team to its own version of success.

Which means you must learn to lead.

No matter how good you are at the tasks,  your knowledge will mean little if you cannot translate that as a  coach and train your team on the same things you know.

Then you will have to inspire and motivate them to work hard and achieve the goals for you.

Rember always, People work for people, not companies. What they achieve or don't achieve is based on YOU and your ability to LEAD.

  1. Winning as a team feels great.

It's true: as much as it feels great to beat your own goals, it's even more thrilling to win as a team.

There is a lot of joy in knowing you've supported people to do their best work and achieve their goals, and the impact you can make as a whole team is much bigger than you could do alone.

You must learn great communication skills and be able to inspire team performance.

And on that subject. I want to give you a free offer for listening to or watching The Business Mechanic Show.

Use the link in the show notes and take advantage of our course Effective Communication. For FREE

You'll learn the critical knowledge required to communicate and work smarter, not harder. And gain the skills and tools to get the most out of your interactions with your team, peers, and boss.

Free Effective Communications Course

 

Here's a key leadership tip for you. Remember that when your team wins, the credit goes to them, not you.

Never can you take full or even partial credit for your team's accomplishment.

Conversely, when they fail, that is your fault, and you must accept all the blame. Always have your team's back.

I had to learn this early.

Defending your ego by blaming coming up short or making mistakes on others is easy.

Don't do it. Take the blame, Own it, Learn how not to let it happen again, and move on.

Even if you feel it is not your fault!

  1. You can't always do it better.

You've probably had former managers who did things that made you think, "When I'm a manager, I'll never do that.

Although that's a great daydream, it's not always reality.

I never understood some past managers' decisions or actions until I became a manager myself.

The fact is, while it may seem like a manager holds all the power, sometimes their hands are tied, and they can't make changes even if they want to.

Sometimes they have to give hard feedback or difficult answers even when you know it will not be very popular to do so.

Being liked is nice but not required to be a leader.

You must be respected.

  1. People are paying attention.

As an individual contributor, the circle of people who notice your success or failure is important but not necessarily extensive.

As a manager, a lot more eyes are on you;

 how you react, interact, and lead all impact your team.

It's imperative to be unbiased and respectful, follow the rules, and be positive. Your team feeds off of you.

Deploy equal accountability and expectations. Don't show favoritism in any way.

You are judged by what you say and do every day. I often describe it as a documentary film crew following you, capturing your every move and word.

Your associates are watching and judging you all day, every day.

Actions you may perceive as minor can have an outsize effect on someone you manage, so it's important to be mindful.

Be careful with your words and actions. Think about the unintended perception you may create.

Visit RDLTraining.com and check out all of our training and coaching services. Especially our online training course.

One of which I wish I had when I was setting out

 How to Be an Inspirational Leader

 

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