Leadership Tips for New Executives/Managers
If moving into an executive/managerial role feels different than your other promotions, well that’s because it is. There’s a huge difference between overseeing people versus overseeing tasks and projects. These leadership tips will help you get started on the right foot with your new team.
1 - Build Relationships First
It can be upsetting when a new manager comes in and immediately starts giving commands, without making any effort to learn who they’re working with. You need to be especially careful if some of your team members are older and/or have more experience at the company. They may resent your position if you immediately start barking out orders.
Before you can start inspiring your employees to reach company goals, you need to build relationships with them first. Remember, your department is made up of individuals with unique personalities, concerns, and motivations.
Spend time in one-on-one meetings with each team member and learn about who they are, their career goals, their strengths and weakness, and their ideas for how they can improve your department. They will appreciate this personal touch right from the beginning.
2 - Prepare to Delegate
When there’s work to be done, you might be the most skilled person to take care of it. But as a manager, you must learn to delegate these tasks to your staff. You don’t have enough hours in the day to handle everything and need to keep your focus on the big picture.
At the same time, the only way your employees will improve is by working through projects themselves. It can be hard to let go, but it’s necessary.
3 - Clearly Explain Goals
Your employees should have a clear way to measure their weekly performance that they can control. For example, in a sales department, your sales team could have a minimum requirement of how many times they need to contact new clients per week.
This way there is no guess-work over what a successful week looks like. You may think it’s obvious, but your employees will appreciate the clear guidance. When you give performance reviews, you can clearly show why someone did well and why others need to improve.
As you focus on in-department responsibilities, you should also bring everything back to long-term goals for your organization. When your employees appreciate why their day-to-day effort matters for the big picture, they’ll be more willing to go that extra mile.
4 - Prepare to Listen
Good leadership can seem like a matter of telling your employees what to do but often listening is more effective. You should also let your employees know that you’re open to their feedback and encourage them to bring in new ideas for how you can succeed.
If an employee is struggling with their work, make sure to always hear their side of things during performance reviews. While you might think you know exactly how to solve the problem because you’ve succeeded in their role before, there might be some other issues you aren’t aware of or ways you could help as a supervisor. At the very least, employees will appreciate that you took the time to hear their perspective.
5 - Be Quick to Share Praise
When your department succeeds, they should know it’s not only your success. Make sure to point out the important role your team had in the achievement. Recognize any employees who went above and beyond their work roles and mention their work to your superiors as well. The best way to build loyalty is by showing your staff that when they come through for you, you make sure they’re rewarded as well.
Great leaders aren’t born. They get there by working hard, listening to their staff, and looking to improve each day. While learning your new position will take time, by following these tips you’ll be in solid shape for your new career as an executive/manager.