Becoming a manager is a stressful, yet rewarding, experience. Beginners in management often fail in their first role. This is mainly because of their misconceptions about what it means to be the boss. In this post, you will find the main misconceptions about management, reality, and tips for successful leadership. The main misconceptions of the new managers are:
- I can rely on the same skills that led me to the management role.
- Being a manager means I am more independent.
- Formal authority is a source of power.
- Results delivery requires controlling people.
- I must build relationships with individual subordinates.
- I will make sure that the operation will keep running smoothly.
1 – Be a leader. Don’t be a star.
- Myth: I can rely on the same skills that led me to my new role.
- Reality: The required skills to be a successful manager are completely different. You learn them mostly by experience. You need to put your emotional intelligence at work.
- Tip: Prepare yourself for the management role before you take it. If you already are a manager, it is never too late. Learn and practice.
2 – Stay humble, you can’t do whatever you want
- Myth: Now I can implement my brilliant plans. I can change everything.
- Reality: You are tied with a complex chain of interactions. You discover that someone who works for you could get you fired.
- Tip: Build your network inside the organization. Learn how to negotiate and influence. Understand the interdependencies and stay humble.
3 – Don’t rely on your formal authority. You must earn it.
- Myth: My position is a source of power.
- Reality: You can’t be more wrong. It will surprise you that people will not give you respect and trust you for your formal authority, you need to earn it.
- Tip: Demonstrate competence (listen more than talk), character (your willingness to do the right thing) and influence in the organization.
The more talented the subordinate, the less likely he/she is to follow orders.
4 – Don’t seek compliance. Seek commitment.
- Myth: I must get compliance from my subordinates. I am in charge; I control.
- Reality: More often than not, direct reports will not respond when you tell them to do something.
- Tip: Build commitment by empowering individuals to achieve team goals. Don’t use orders.
Continue reading “6 Tips for New Managers”
In his book “Up the Organization”, Robert Townsend gives 10 evaluation criteria that you can use to rate your boss as a leader.
Here is, in a nutshell, the difference between a boss and a leader: a boss is someone who was appointed by the organization to manage a team. A leader, on the other hand, is someone in the organization who inspires people. A boss pushes people to work, a leader pulls them towards his vision. Some bosses are leaders, others are just managers. For a brief comparison between (bad) boss and leader characteristics, you may refer to the info-graphic at the end of this post.
Back to Townsend’s criteria, the author suggests that you score each of the following characteristics from 0 to 10, the total (from 0 to 100) is you boss’s rating. How much is your boss : Continue reading “Is your Boss a Leader ?”