When a new manager is promoted into their position, it’s typically because they’ve been good at getting things done. They’re usually outstanding performers, which is why they’ve been tapped for leadership. It can be an incredible boon to anyone’s career. But more often than not, the transition from outstanding performer to successful manager can be a difficult one.
The skillset required to be good at doing things, is quite different from the skillset required to be good at managing things. Of course time management, communication and delegation skills are required to thrive, but they’ll likely already encompass those. Unfortunately, their other skills, the skills they learned to be outstanding in their previous role, don’t always translate to being a great manager.
The key to being a great manager, and making this transition a successful one, is understanding the mindset shifts required to go from doer to manager.
New managers must go from being the person who does stuff to being the person who facilitates and supports a team of people doing stuff. They must go from thinking about getting things done themselves, to thinking about developing other people’s skills and talents so that they can get things done. They have to go from solving problems, to helping their teams solve problems, and supporting them in growing and becoming better at what they do.
Here are a few top new managers tips and key mindset shifts to make:
From doing to serving.
As a manager, you are now focused on the needs of each team member. Your job is to help them succeed and do their best work. This will require getting to know them, understanding their strengths and weaknesses and how they get their best work done.
From player to coach.
As a manager, it is your job to challenge your team members and help them grow. Adopting a learning and growth mindset and establishing that mindset as a core value within your team is crucial. When great employees are stagnant and doing the same things for too long, they disengage and start looking for other opportunities. Your job is to create an environment where they can all succeed and grow regularly. Make them understand that you are invested in their growth and success.
From tasks to outcomes.
As a manager, your time is now more precious. The true value of your work is in how it multiplies to create gains for your team. Instead of thinking in terms of things on your own to do list, you’ll need to think in terms of what will have the biggest impact on the functioning and output of your team. Fixing problems, settling disputes, and alleviating bottlenecks are examples of time spent multiplying the output of your team. Your time is now far better spent doing things that have an impact on the team as a whole moving forward than say, tackling your administrative to do list.
The biggest challenge new managers face is shifting from outstanding individual performer, responsible for his or her own success and output, to a solid manager, responsible for the team’s success and output. If the mindset shifts above can be made as that transition begins, it will go a long way to helping them avoid common roadblocks and hit the ground running.