Get to know your staff. Set up private meetings with your employees to understand who they are, how they think, what motivates them, and what’s going on in their lives. Be sure to ask what gets in the way of them doing their best work. Remember: your goal is full engagement.
Establish systems for regular communication. Lack of communication is the cause of most work-related snafus. Hold periodic individual and team meetings to keep everyone on the same page. Consider touch-base emails to provide on the spot supervision, serve as a resource, or obtain updates about project progress.
Deal with problems promptly. If you ignore emerging issues and conflicts, they grow larger and uglier. You can’t afford to deny or dodge problems. Confront them directly and quickly. This is often a sticking point for new managers who want everyone to like them.
Invest your time in alignment with job priorities. You are in control of your calendar. Make sure the truly important projects, meetings, activities, and tasks are on it. When you’re clear about your work priorities, you are more likely to create a schedule that supports them. Avoid the temptation to clutter your days with inconsequential minutia that doesn’t mean much.
Decide to delegate. The reality is that you get the work done through other people. You simply can’t do it all by yourself. As a manager, you must now focus on planning, organizing, facilitating, and feeding the bigger picture.
Recognize and celebrate your wins. As a new leader/manager, you may assume that you haven’t yet earned any self-praise. At the end of each week step back and identify your accomplishments, large and small. Maybe you handled a tricky conversation more effectively than you’d imagined. Perhaps you re-energized a lukewarm employee or finished a project in advance of the deadline. Whatever your successes, you need to acknowledge them.
Engage a mentor or a coach. Wise professionals face the fact that they don’t know everything—and have much to learn—when they land a leadership/management job. Find somebody who has already developed the total package skillset you need to flourish. Tap into their expertise and then implement it in your environment. Choose to become an intentional student, and create a plan.
Here’s the bottom line: in your new leadership/management position you’re going to experience three major transitions. These include a transition of relationship, a transition of role, and a transition of mindset. If you search the internet, any of the credible literature will tell you this. It’s up to you to embrace these transitions and figure out how to flow through them. For more information about transitioning into a leadership role, I encourage you to check out, 5 Essentials for First Time Managers.