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First-time manager? You better sit down.

Updated on January 25, 2016
Gennady Barsky
Gennady Barsky | Source

First-time manager? You better sit down.

Hey new manager! Congratulations, you got the gig. Now it’s time to earn it. You may have what it takes to get the job, but do you have what you need to get the job done? Here’s a handy checklist to help get you moving in the right direction.

You may think you know the business, but you don’t have it down as well as you should. Managers are privy to more information and different perspectives. If you are new to the company, you might bring the right skillsets, but you need to know about more than just the industry. You need to know how this company does things, and what’s really expected of you.

Get to know your team members one-on-one. While it’s great to know the roles of each member of your team, what they do is not who they are. You will get more out of people you understand. Take the time to get that advantage.

You need to develop short and long-term goals with sequential action plans for your team. Sure, you have been given goals and benchmarks by your superiors. But those are not plans, those are objectives. How will you best accomplish those goals? Can you take what’s been done before and improve on it? Addressing these questions offers two benefits. First, you will help move your department forward, and you will learn exactly how much autonomy you really have in your new role. This is a vital lesson you don’t want to learn the hard way.

Speaking of limitations, you need to know what these are. That goes well beyond protocol and budget. You need to know what you are allowed to do as well as what your team is actually capable of accomplishing. If you don’t know your limits, you won’t know where and how you can improve. If you don’t do better, they will find someone who will. Status quo is never good enough.

At some point, you will need some help from outside your department. That moment is not the time to start building relationships. You need to set that foundation long before you stick your hand out and hope for help. Building bridges and making friends in other departments is a key unspoken duty of all managers. It can often be the difference between long-term success and failure in your new role.

Keep these ideas in mind as you set out on your new role. Again, congratulations … now get to work!


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      2 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I found myself in the midst of a vicious team. My first job was the director of a section of the company with veterans under me. Of course they tried to eat me alive because I was a newbie and fresh out of school. Instead of engaging them head on, I learned to create partnerships using their talents, skills and experiences. After all, they new more about the company than I did. Soon after, I got their respect as their leader and their boss. It was a life-changing experience for me. It is not a walk in the park - it was more like trying your best not to get your limbs bitten off by rabid dogs. But when you get to learn how to tame the beasts, you can can manage them better.


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