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5 Things New Managers Get Wrong

For many, this week marks the return of Back-to-School across the US, and many of us say goodbye to summer and a return to the “routine of work.” It can be a great time for seasoned and neophyte leaders and managers to gain clarity and get grounded on their roles at work. Over the years, we’ve all read what many of us “get wrong” or “mistakes to avoid” in a new role, yet few offer any meat-on-the-bone solutions or real answers that trigger action steps to employ immediately.

Leading and managing others have three things in common in both roles. Get one of these three dimensions out of alignment and you’ll ensure your demise with relative ease.

  • Get Results.  After all, everyone of us is charged with getting results. Whether we’re driving costs out of transactions, increasing revenue, reducing labor, SG&A and so on. At the end of the day, all of us are response-able for getting results – managing the numbers.  
  • Develop Relationships. For many, the manner in which you go about getting results will invariably involve other people. How you establish, nurture, develop, correct, repair and value relationships is a balance of art and science.

If you’re style is to create an environment of kumbaya, everyone gets a trophy and   it’s okay if you “kinda sorta miss” the target, then you’re ensuring #1 isn’t       realized. Would you rather be popular or successful in your role?

Conversely, if you’re the heavy-handed, manipulative, autocrat, then coercion may get you to your target, but your path will certainly be littered with the bodies of broken relationships, poor trust and disdain from others. Do you demand results at all costs, blames others for your mistakes or is critical of others?

  • Check Your Ego. The most difficult step is understanding how your ego shapes your behaviors – real and perceived. It takes great courage to submit your ego and ask for feedback on behaviors that may be hindering your relationships and performance. Are you arrogant, do you focus on status and prestige even if it sacrifices people and results?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a hyena

Don't Ignore Me

All things are not as they appear and you have one shot at delivering a good impression as a first-time manager, a seasoned manager in a new division or company or a new organizational leader. Sadly, here’s where many of you “hose” yourself:

  1. Do It Now! While that’s a great tagline for Nike, it’s not the best idea for Sally Senior Manager. Trying to do too much too fast is not the same as working with a sense of urgency and challenging your team. If you want to frustrate yourself and your team, then this is a great idea to go out guns blazing and flame out. 
  2. It’s All About Me!  Pride and ego get in the way. It’s not about who is right. It’s about what is right. The transition, promotion or new role is not about you and it never was. It’s about how you can marshal the resources to get results that preserves relationships. Drop the “e” and “go.” 
  3. The Elephant in the Room! You can really ignore it? Perhaps you are now leading or managing former peers, colleagues and co-workers. Maybe you succeeded former managers who are now subordinates. Communicating simply, powerfully and elegantly will ease the transition and understand all of their eyes are on you watching every move, every behavior and every perceived behavior. 
  4. Get In Rhythm! Ignoring the rhythm of the office will have as much a negative impact as missing milestones and deadlines. There’s a balance, a blend, a rhythm of how “we get stuff done here.” As a new manager, you cannot afford to take your eye off the ball and overlook the small stuff – it’s ALL small stuff. 
  5. Fear! Fear, uncertainty and doubt will kill your career and your business relationships if you’re afraid to make mistakes. I’m pretty sure, you didn’t learn all that much from your successes that elevated you to this point. You learn more from your failures, go out there, with humility, and make decisions; some will be favorable and some will not – learn from them all.

What’s the next step? Where do we go from here?

How To Become An Elegant Leader

One of the best tools we share with new managers and seasoned leaders who want a tune-up is the Elegant Leader’s Dashboard.  In order to get grounded, gain clarity and develop the mindset, skills, tactics and gear that influence with impact, the Elegant Leader’s Dashboard is a simple, effective manner to guide and direct your path as a new manager. Becoming an Elegant Leader means the whole is better than its parts – the results prove that without your Elegant Leadership a considerably healthier future of the enterprise wouldn’t exist.

Our Elegant Leader’s Dashboard will help you:

  1. Be a Leader people will want to follow by setting an Elegant example
  2. Develop your emotional intelligence by developing yourself
  3. Communicate simply, powerfully and Elegantly
  4. Help your team see the big picture and how they’re integral to success
  5. Be decisive
  6. Create an agile learning environment
  7. Encourage feedback with mastery, autonomy and purpose
  8. Leverage the power of recognition
  9. To be patient – Elegant Leadership takes time
  10. Provide professional guidance

Stop skimming the surface with minimally effective answers. Lasting results come from work – HARD work – and only leaders with courage and thick skin will succeed as the Elegant Leader’s Dashboard isn’t for everyone. It asks you to step outside yourself and look introspectively, honestly and ask others for advice, to make difficult choices, and to change ineffective behaviors.

The seasoned leader who’s facing a new challenge also benefits from a tune up on our Elegant Leader’s Dashboard. If you have a documented trail of success, possess a “can-do” attitude, have clearly defined goals, are ambitious and confident, and you’re able to leverage time, then I’d encourage you to accelerate into the curve and elevate your game with our High Performance Leadership Academy. We take seasoned leaders and facilitate how to lean into your Elegant Leadership that deliver measurable results for your organization, develop a pipeline of leaders who have impact and can grow your organization and enjoy lasting, relevant improvements, not short-term gains. Be a part of our Leadership Summit Series of events today!

 

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