Congratulations! You've just been promoted into a new managerial job.
As the new boss it is vital that you get the lay of the land and establish
yourself as the new boss. While always a critical process, this is even
more important if you are an internal promotion who is now managing the
same folks who yesterday were your peers. Yes, we are talking office
politics here, but it is also essential leadership on your part. So keep
these tips in mind:
- Establish some clear boundaries with your former peers. If, for
example, you all used to go out together after work, that needs to
stop. Your status has changed from friend to boss so you need to keep
your socializing to a minimum. As sure as you are reading these words,
the day will come when you have to take disciplinary action with one
of these former peers (now your staff and direct reports), perhaps
even fire one of them, and if you have a strong personal relationship
it will only make a hard job exponentially harder.
- Be aware of who
you are, how you tend to behave, and how you come across to people.
Do not assume that everyone is just like you because they aren't. Not
everyone is motivated by the same things you are, nor does everyone
respond to a challenge in the same fashion that you do. Ask others
you respect to describe how you behave most of the time. You can also
use assessment tools to assist in this process such as DISC or Myers-Briggs.
time to meet with each direct report individually. Even if you know
what they do, ask them to tell you about their job, what they are working
on, what issues and challenges they are facing, and how you can help
them be successful. This openness to their viewpoint and the obvious
time you are investing to listening to them is a vital first step in
creating trust, a commodity you will need in abundance if you are to
lead effectively. And really listendon't argue or debatelisten.
building coalitions around work that needs to be done, whether within
your department or scope of authority, or across the organization.
The fact of the matter is that as you move up the leadership ranks
you spend less and less time doing the technical things that contributed
to getting you promoted in the first place. If you are now a nurse
manager, you will be doing less nursing and more managing. And getting
that nursing care done will mean you will have to interact with and
coordinate care with other departments not under your control (pharmacy,
the OR, the ER, Materials Management, etc.). The same is true if you
are in sales or finance or marketing orwhatever your area of expertise
is. The challenge of leadership is getting work done with and through
other people because you can't do it all yourself.
- Look for some early
wins that will let your staff know that you are not only willing to
take action, but will address issues that will make their life easier.
Early wins are most often low hanging fruit that is easily picked.
These decisions don't take extensive analysis nor do they often require
navigating company politics or securing large amount of money. But
you must be looking for these opportunities. In the meantime, you are
getting to know your new staff and your new responsibilities, while
at the same time learning what big challenges await you that will require
more of your time and attention before making any decisions about them
you discover that you are deficient in specific skills or knowledge
you need to effectively perform in your new job, get the help you need
to fill this deficit starting today. Do not wait.
In the next edition of The Coach's Corner, we will speak to a number
of traps that new bosses can fall into so be on the lookout for it!
Provided Courtesy of:
Maxwell & Associates
1012 Embassy Row Way • Seabrook Island, SC 29455-6005 • Voice 843-768-2227 • Fax 843-768-2170 • Rich@MaxwellCoaching.com