Leadership Skills for a First Time Manager - Part 1

As you know, we care about your career here at CM Access. It's never been about your next job, but about the next step on the professional staircase you're building yourself. So, it's fairly common for us to be finding candidates a new position that is a level up from their current job. What does that mean? Lots of first-time managers!


The idea that employees are constantly paving their way on the road toward roles of authority is great news, but while they are often stellar employees in their original positions, even the most ambitious workers can find themselves fumbling in a position of power. The major problem arising is that most of these people are untrained, with little to no investment in their skills from their employer.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers with under 100 employees provided only 12 minutes of manager training per six month period. Organizations with between 100 and 500 employees only offered half of that in the same time period. How is a new manager expected to survive without the support of her company?

We can't give you a crash course in management training, but we can at least get you started. Here are some tips for killing it this year, your first time at the big desk.

1. Emphasize the Big Picture.

Think of yourself as a coach – it's your job to create an environment of productivity and motivation, so clue your team in. What is the reputation you want your team to have, company-wide? What sorts of achievements do you anticipate in the coming year and what should your employees consider to be their greatest contribution to these goals? Setting the scene for a season of success will keep the finish line in sight, increasing accountability and improving an employee's sense of autonomy.

2. Be the filter.

You already act as the middle man between the Higher Ups and your employees, but you need to be as much of a connector as a filter between the two. Don't blame your boss for decisions that have to be made, however unpopular, and own the successes and failures when there is any issue with your own team's unreached milestones. It will be challenging to make sure no one gets thrown under the bus when you're involved, but you ultimately earn respect and gratitude from both sides of the table. The only time to pass along info about a specific team member? When they have a stellar idea that should be taken seriously. Let them get the credit.

3. Establish a structure.

One of the most difficult parts of being a first-time manager is being left out of The Group – you're no longer one of the lower level team, you can't complain about management or mentally check out the second the clock strikes 5. You are, in a way, a representative of the company, and you have to embrace the changes that come with that. Many new managers adopt an easygoing attitude, thinking that being a Fun Boss is the best way to be seen favorably by their team . What they'll find is that it's easy to get high fives but much more difficult to earn respect.

So, get a structure in place. You are the boss, and it's your job to keep everyone on the right track. Human beings crave routine – set up weekly meetings, develop systems that will keep your productivity machine running, and keep projects moving along at a steady speed. If your employees aren't used to a structure it can initially be an adjustment, but will bring success in the long run.

More tips for new managers, coming in our next post!


Posted: 6/27/2018 11:24:04 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments
Filed under: first time manager, leadership, leadership skills, leadership tips, management skills, new manager, workplace