Being a leader is both a privilege and a great responsibility. It can also be pretty intimidating if you've never managed a team before.

There's a lot to learn when taking on your first leadership role, and first-time leaders can find the beginning stages to be stressful and confusing. To help you navigate your new role, eight entrepreneurs relayed one tip they’d give to new managers. Follow their advice to get yourself -- and your team -- on the road to success.

Prepare for the role before you start.

You were chosen for your new position because of your skills and leadership potential. However, it's not going to be like your previous role as a contributor -- and you need to thoroughly prepare for the transition, says Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms.

"Getting promoted to a manager is like getting an entirely new job, so treat it as such," Wells explains. "Do some research, take an online course, speak to other managers and become familiar with company procedures. The more prepared you are for your new role, the better at it you'll be."

Get to know your new team.

As a new manager, take the time to get to know each member of your team. You should certainly know what they do at work, but try to learn a little about who they are as a person, too, says John Turner, founder of SeedProd LLC

"Getting to know each of your team members personally will help you learn how to deal with and manage each individual effectively," Turner adds.

Be willing to work alongside your team.

Some new managers tend to micromanage and struggle with delegating. Others, says Vishal Shah, co-founder of Ledger & Tax, have no trouble with this and delegate every task that comes to their desk. Striking a healthy balance between "manager" and "doer" is key.

"While it's important that you delegate work across your team, don't stop being a 'doer' just because you're now a manager," Shah says. "You will almost always earn more of your team's respect when they view you as a domain expert who's not afraid to roll up your sleeves when the going gets tough."

Learn how to actively listen.

Nicole Munoz, founder and CEO of Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc., says that learning how to be an active listener is a critical part of achieving success in the business world -- especially as a leader.

"It shows people that you really care about what they have to say," says Munoz. "More often than not, it will also show that you understand how to solve the problem."

Focus on leading by example.

All leadership roles come with authority, responsibility and consistency. A good leader leads by example, and does the things that need to get done, explains Fritz Colcol, CEO of ABN Circle.

"Show the entire team that you care and put in the work as much as the team does," Colcol says. "Don’t be the boss that simply demands and commands. Be a leader who leads by example."

Be flexible and adaptable.

According to Kristin Kimberly Marquet, founder of Marquet Media, LLC, being flexible and adaptable helps leaders acclimate their behavior to achieve the best outcome.

"Flexibility also allows leaders to listen more effectively, observe others and make decisions more appropriately overall," Marquet adds.

Don't obsess over your mistakes.

When Syed Balkhi, co-founder of WPBeginner, first became a leader, he worried about every small mistake he made along the way. Now, he understands that there is a difference between obsessing over a mistake and correcting your behavior.

"If something doesn't work out the way you plan, evaluate how you can improve in the future," Balkhi says.

Bolster your confidence.

It's natural to feel nervous about your first leadership role. However, Matthew Podolsky, managing attorney at Florida Law Advisers, P.A., emphasizes the importance of remaining confident.

"As a leader, you set the tone for the team," Podolsky says. "If you do not portray confidence, the team will sense it, and the lack of confidence will trickle down throughout the organization. There will be hurdles when you first start; look to your prior successes to remain confident during difficult times."

Published on: Sep 30, 2019
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