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15 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Being A First Time Manager

By Emilie Shoop (1080 words)
Posted in Management on March 17, 2014

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There is a lot to learn when becoming a manager for the first time.  If you are lucky, you will get ample training to get you up to speed on your company’s policies and procedures.  However, if you are like most first time managers, you will learn as you go.  


To help you get ahead faster, here are 15 things your boss wishes you knew about being a first time manager.


15 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Being A First Time Manager


1. Start Fresh. 

Don’t assume that things are just going to keep moving forward as usual when you take on your new role.  Look at it as the beginning.  Get real clear on the direction of the team and get them on board.


2. It ain’t always pretty. 

You might be surprised by the amount of drama the previous boss was dealing with.  Now it is your turn to take it on.  Part of being the manager is to deal with the not so pretty stuff too.


3. You will make mistakes. 

Nobody is perfect.  You weren’t perfect in your past job either, but you learned how to grow and be successful.  Apply the same level of effort in your manager role too.


4. You have not arrived. 

Now that you have the manager role, you don’t get to sit back and enjoy the view.  Now you really get to work on the good stuff…people.  Become people-focused and you will be very successful.


5. You represent your team

What does your team need from outside to get their job done?  It is up to you to advocate for the resources they need and deserve.  Nobody is going to be giving you anything without you asking for it.


6. Know your boss. 

It’s easy to get focused on your team and on your personal growth, but don’t forget to get to know your boss.  Just as before you got this new role, you need to make sure you understand your new boss’s expectations, goals, and direction.  How are you making him/her look good?


7. Collaborate

Now is the time to really develop good relationships with other managers.  Learn what is going on in their teams and develop how you can apply that to what your team is doing.


8. Be visible. 

You are going to be very busy with meetings and other work that you are learning to accomplish.  However, this is not the time to hide behind your desk and work.  Good leaders are highly visible and accessible.


9. Have fun. 

Even though you may be feeling overwhelmed, know that you will find your groove.  Keep the culture of your team light-hearted and fun.  Your mood is contagious to everyone!


10. Dress the part. 

In most office settings, the manager dresses a little nicer than the standard employee.  The VP dresses a little nice than the managers.  The CEO usually dresses the nicest (or completely casual!).  Know your organization, and dress the part.


11. Give credit where credit is due. 

Even though the spotlight is shining on you, it has shifted a little.  Now the focus isn’t on you and your direct results, the focus is on your team and your team’s results.  Make sure you are clear on who is getting the team where they need to go to be successful.


12. Make decisions. 

You always thought you knew how you would handle that situation, right?  As a new manager, you might be afraid of making a wrong decision.  Any decision is better than no decision.  Make your decision and then learn from it if it was wrong.


13. Have a life outside of work. 

You didn’t take on this role to live and breathe it 24/7.  Make sure to take time off and unplug.  Your boss and team will be much happier if you do.


14. Delegate. 

It is NOT your job to do everything.  It is your job to make sure everything gets done.  Give clear assignments and set expectations.

15. Lead by example. 

How do you want your team to act, think, or behave?  Be the shining example of what you would like them to do, think, or be!  If you are constantly running behind, frazzled, and overwhelmed they will be too.



It is very common for you, as a new manager, to feel overwhelmed and underqualified when you step into your new role.  Take on the new role as just another challenge to excel at.  As long as you stay people-focused, keep communication up and down open, and have a positive attitude the rest will fall into place as you go along.



{#/pub/images/EmilieShoop2014.jpg}Written by Emilie Shoop, Creator and Leader of Shoop Training & Consulting A sought after Coach, Mompreneur, Strategist, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Trainer & Business Consultant, Emilie works with people who are ready for that next level of success, and realize how they work with people is KEY.  Her coaching will help you lead, delegate, sell, collaborate, perform, influence, and relate with people to launch your success to the next level. She provides clients, teams and organizations the skills and tools for leadership and professional excellence.



Do you have a management question for Emilie?  Post it in our First Time Manager/Supervisor Community and she will be happy to help: Ask an Expert


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