The moment your business needs more people to help you, suddenly, often overnight, you're a manager. You've built your business up as far as you can on your own, and now you need more faces in the workplace. Those first management responsibilities can be daunting, and you can be forgiven for having a little trepidation.
No doubt you're thinking of all the great managers you've worked for and the qualities they had. Leadership, inspiration, motivation, support--great managers have so many qualities and you'll be worried about how well you'll measure up. That's pretty much to be expected, but what can you do to banish the nerves and become the kind of manager that people will respect and enjoy working for?
Here are five tips to remember that will keep you focused and see you hit the ground running:
1. Don't lose your passion.
You've needed to hire because your business has grown, and that growth will have been because of your passion for what you do and the drive it has given you to succeed.
It's pretty much inevitable that your new management role will take you away from some of the aspects of the business that you've enjoyed through the early stages, but don't lose sight of the reasons why you started the business.You still need to roll your sleeves up and dive into whatever's needed.
But pat yourself on the back for the way you're business is growing, and keep sight of your passion to communicate your standards and values to your new team to keep growth happening
2. You need to look, listen, and learn.
Your new role will see you managing people you've not worked with before, and it may be that you're bringing people in to start delivering procedures and processes that you've not been involved with before. Give these people the room and respect to do the job you've hired them for. Trying to micromanage every detail from day one is simply going to set you up to fail.
Instead, take time to get acquainted with your new team, as a collective and as individuals, and learn from them. Pick their brains about what works and why, and what needs addressing as a priority.
They will value you seeking out their opinion and respecting their experience. Team spirit will be boosted and you'll be supported by the team as you grow into your management role.
3. You're not a superhero.
Even when you are a very experienced manager, you're going to fail from time to time. You need to accept and embrace that from day one.
Awareness of your strengths and weaknesses is very healthy, and another important factor in your level of confidence. Make sure to reach out for help when you need it. This is where your own network will help you. Look for support from those in a similar position and those who have had the experience of growing a business and moving into management. Read books, too!
It's not a weakness to ask for help. It's the right thing to do as a manager, helping build a team ethic, and learning from the experience of seeing the problem solved.
4. You need to be the boss.
You might be shaking in your shoes when making your first management decisions, but you need to have the confidence to do so, and to stand by those decisions. Your team will be looking to you for direction.
Don't keep changing your mind or procrastinating. That will cause a lack of confidence in you that will radiate through your team. Be brave, and stick to your guns.
5. You need to have fun.
Being enthusiastic is infectious, and builds confidence, so maintain a positive approach and try and have some fun. Work is serious stuff but keeping positive and enjoying it helps everything get achieved that little bit easier.
Reward yourself and the team when things go well and don't dwell on setbacks. Enjoy yourself, boss!