Leadership Tips for New Managers

Whether you have been internally promoted or externally appointed as a new manager / leader at work, Matthew Rock notes – “As a new boss, you should think hard about how to make the right first impression”. First impressions can have a dramatic impact on how you are perceived and accepted in your new role as well as on the image and perception of your organisation, where you act as a representative.

This post is adapted from a Professional Manager article written by Matthew Rock and published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Taking up a management position for the first time is a whole new ball game.
The expectations are heightened – all eyes are on you.
Above all, you’ll need to get the communication right.

There is a short window in which to convey who you are, what you stand for, what you’ll tolerate and what standards you expect. Your new team will inevitably analyse and appraise you, including your words and attitude, and it is essential to succeed with this early communication – If you strike the right notes in that crucial first period, you could foster a sense of shared values that’ll endure the inevitable rocky patches.

Starting before assuming your new management role, you need to take time to understand the organisation, and before ‘making your mark’, take time to observe team dynamics and personalities.
David Dumeresque, of international executive search firm Tyzak Partners, reflects that “(New leaders) need to understand what makes the organisation tick and how to bring together disparate parts to make a strong whole”.

Dumeresque warns against the tendency for new managers, particularly those who have had experience, to impose their own style and use methods and modes of behaviour that have previously been successful – “Experienced leaders know that, in order to succeed, they need to draw on the successes of the past but adjust them for the new environment.”

Kelly Odell, author of The Human Way: The Ten Commandments for (Im)Perfect Leaders, notes a tendency for incoming managers to believe that they’ve suddenly acquired superhuman powers, which can be reinforced by those around them and can quickly result in overconfidence becoming an issue.
As a manager and leader, you must remind yourself frequently that you are exactly the same as everyone else, neither better nor worse,” says Odell.

How to succeed as a new manager is a popular query at CMI’s ManagementDirect, and a key recommended resource is The New Manager’s Handbook: 24 Lessons for Mastering Your New Role by Morey Stettner. Below are a few choice tips, extracted from Stettner’s Handbook, on how to get those early communications right.

The best managers don’t say much – “Silence enhances your power. By keeping quiet, listening well, and expressing your points in the fewest words possible, you gain a persuasive edge. Your employees will know that every word counts – and they’ll give you their undivided attention as a result.”

This advice is also helpful when you’re posing a question or when things get fraught – Don’t rush to answer your own question and, “when someone’s angry or agitated and needs to blow off steam, keep quiet”.

Finally, speak with power and purpose. You have earned your new position – “Even if you’re bashful or self-effacing, speak in bold, unambiguous terms… Don’t drop subtle hints when the situation calls for you to speak up and be specific.”

Go to: Advice for New Managers: Take Time to Listen (And Talk)” (Matthew Rock) to read the original article.