How the Most Successful New Managers Lead Successful Teams
Successful New Managers Lead Successful Teams
Managing successfully requires that you know how to successfully select, inspire and lead a team to reach its goals.
New Managers Need to Learn How to Lead Teams Quickly
New managers are no longer judged by what they accomplish as an individual contributor. They are judged by the success of their team. The success of new managers is based upon the success of their team.
Early Moves Matter
Since first impressions are often the ones that last and are difficult to overcome, new managers must be thoughtful and deliberate in their early moves. They need to learn fast…how to get their people to work effectively together toward common goals that matter most.
How to Start Off On the Right Foot as a New Manager
Based upon twenty-plus years of designing and developing award-winning new manager training programs, our advice is to:
#1. Get to Know Each Other
Resist the temptation to begin acting as a “boss” right away. This is not the time to set up rules and policies but to get to know the individuals you will be leading. You need to understand the context and build relationships before you focus on the tasks…listen before you pronounce…observe before you direct.
#2. Communicate Your Vision and Values
Strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams. Once you get a lay of the land, your team members will want and need to know how you define success on the team and individual levels. What is it that you care about most and how will you evaluate performance? Be open and straightforward about what you stand for; this serves as the platform on which you build trust and shared goals.
#3. Set Expectations Clearly
Make sure each team member understands precisely what you expect in terms of goals, roles and processes. This includes how you expect the team to operate…everything from meetings that begin on time to feeling OK to ask questions or for help when needed. When everyone is held accountable to clear and transparent performance standards, the team develops a level of mutual respect and interdependency that improves overall performance.
#4. Check in Regularly and Often
Effective managers show consistent interest in team members’ progress and remain available when support is needed without micromanaging. It’s all about genuinely caring that each person is set up to succeed. Whether through weekly team meetings or frequent one-on-ones, communicate and listen regularly and often.
#5. Identify Easy Fixes
There’s nothing like an early victory to motivate and inspire your team. Identify something that has frustrated the team that you can work together to overcome in your first 30 days. Is there a process you can improve, an unnecessary obstacle that can be removed, a misunderstanding that can be addressed or a project that should be at the top of the to-do list?
Try to find something you can tackle that comes out of those early “get to know one another” sessions.
The Bottom Line
Effective new managers communicate clearly and frequently, care about the individuals on their team and set an early achievable goal that will benefit everyone. That’s the way to build a team that pulls together in the same direction.
To learn more about being an effective new manager, download The Six Management Best Practices that Make the Difference Between Effective and Extraordinary