What Managers Will Say
Get some experienced managers together in a room, ask for the advice they would give new managers, and it is likely that you will hear at least some of the following:
- "Confront your problem employee. Don't think that the person will magically reform or that you even know all of the bad stuff that's going on. Organize your thoughts and then get with the person. Pronto. And be prepared to focus on specific performance issues and not personality."
- "Get to know all of your direct reports. Don't just accept the image that they try to present in staff meetings. Get to know their strengths and weaknesses and what they may do that drives their employees crazy."
- "Try to get out of the way of your employees. This doesn't mean to become disengaged. It means that you should avoid being a barrier. Don't make it harder for them to do their jobs."
- "Make reversible decisions quickly and irreversible ones slowly."
- "Be sensitive to timing. The proposal that will sink like a rock today will be hailed as brilliant in two months."
- "Get a trustworthy and knowledgeable person to whom you can talk about your leadership and management challenges. Don't walk through the valley by yourself."
- "Lead by example. It's tried and true and it builds trust."
- "If you can't trust someone, why is that person still around?"
- "Don't act like a jerk. People have enough to worry about in their lives without you adding to the list."
- "Delegate. You can't do it all and delegation develops people."
- "Be accessible but don't hand over your schedule to others. Give yourself time for undisturbed thought."
- "Focus. Have a core goal and try to link as much as possible to the achievement of that goal. Beware of attractive detours."
- "Learn to say no. You will meet some very nice people who will want some things they should not have or will propose some projects you should not touch."
- "Hire cautiously. It is one of your most important decisions and few things in business are as painful as a bad hiring decision."
- "Listen for what is not being said."
- "Beware of complicated plans. They seldom work."
- "Creativity is great, but keep reviewing and executing the basics. They aren't called the 'basics' because they are just sort of nice to have."