New Leader on the Block: So What’s Next?

Young Boss

Congratulations! You have just been promoted to “manager.”

So now what?

Here You Go…

You earned that promotion because you have the most experience on your team, you’re a super worker, and you get along great with your colleagues. The new job title, the nice salary bump, and the fact that you have more authority within the company are nice perks too.

But, as with any new job or leadership position, there are bound to be some hiccups and surprises during the transition.

So What to Do?

I talked to a few recently appointed managers and an executive coach to get their advice for first-time managers, and here are three tips they shared with me.

1. Let Your Work Shine Through Your People

Prior to your promotion you were an individual contributor, and that gave the ability to let your work shine through projects, presentations, and exceeding sales quotas, for example. But as a manager, you have less time to work on projects that are visible to the organization because you’re spending more and more time in meetings with your team and senior management.

According to a senior marketing communications specialist at National Instruments who previously managed a team of nine for two years, it’s common for new managers to feel like they aren’t getting tangible things done day-to-day.

“All your work now shows through a team of people instead of your individual self,” she says. “You learn to work through others, offer guidance, and give direction, while finding the right balance between people management and driving your own projects for the business.”

2. Find a Management Style That Works for You

It’s tempting for new managers to mimic the management styles of their former supervisors.

While it may feel easy or natural to copy the management tactics of your previous bosses, those same tactics might not work for you.

Rather than inherit management styles from your former bosses, learn from what they did (and didn’t do) and apply those lessons as you develop your own style.

Some questions to ask yourself would be:

  • How was my manager most effective?
  • What could he or she have done differently to support me?
  • How can I improve on what I have experienced in the past?

According to Houston Neal, marketing director at Software Advice, he recommends this for as a new manager “you have to be true to yourself and develop your own style. Otherwise, your management will seem forced or ineffective as a result.”

3. Don’t Expect to Be Good at First

While you have the skills to be an excellent manager, chances are you’ll need some training and guidance for the first few months, just like any new hire within an organization.

According to Cheryl McMillan, an executive coach for Vistage International:

“There’s a big misconception that people can do this stuff naturally. Management is really a science and an art. People need basic knowledge first and then practice.”

New managers should start the job by building out a solid training plan with development goals and consistent performance evaluations with their supervisors. This a great way to assess progress and focus areas during your first few months as manager.

What challenges did you face as a new manager? How did you overcome them? What’s your biggest piece of advice for new managers? I would love to hear your thoughts and share your expertise!


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Jennifer King

Jennifer King is an HR Analyst at Software Advice
She blogs about technology, trends, and best practices in HR and recruiting
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3 responses to “New Leader on the Block: So What’s Next?

  1. #4 ONBOARD- Hire a leadership coach and onboard to up your leadership skills in order to raise your own effectiveness. You may quickly move from a level 6 leader to a level 8 leader by onboarding.


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