Moving into a managerial role is one of the most exciting and simultaneously terrifying career transitions. This transition has become even more complex as the world of work becomes hybrid, remote teams become a norm and disparate teams become commonplace.
All leaders are not managers, but all managers must be leaders
Given the status quo, managers have the dual responsibility of not just managing their teams but leading them to success. While leaders can choose to not be managers, managers must be leaders. This is primarily because they have to manage complex tasks that could need multiple forms of intelligence and execution.
- They need to build trust bridges between their hybrid team members.
- They are the upholders of company culture as they lead and align their teams to organizational outcomes.
- This job demands a great deal more heavy lifting as the rules of engagement change, new demographics joining the workforce require different engagement strategies, and organizations ask for higher team productivity.
Creating leadership goals allows new managers to lead with confidence and decide their priorities with clarity. Having leadership goals allows new managers to provide better direction to their teams and reflect on their performance and improvement areas with clarity.
Some of the key leadership goals that new managers should think of setting in the early part of their career transition are:
Developing Leadership Habits
A lot is being spoken of currently regarding the rising need for leadership habits across the C-suite. Developing a leadership mindset is fast emerging as a strategic priority. Not only the C-suite, the middle management too, has to now think of developing these habits.
Leadership habits are the set of behaviors that help managers lead with relevance, drive innovation, and elevate employee experiences. It involves the development of the right meta mindsets that foster inclusivity and belonging by helping managers connect with their teams authentically and meaningfully.
New managers must work with coaches to develop the right leadership habits so that they can lead their teams with intention and capably foster trust and high performance within their teams.
Identifying and honing their leadership philosophy
Are you feeling excited about becoming a new manager because you now have positional authority? Or are you excited to be in a place that allows you to enable others’ success?
In the first few days as a new manager, it becomes critical to understand and internalize that leading is more than establishing followership. A real leader is the enabler of another’s success.
New managers, as such, have to identify and build their leadership philosophy so that it builds trust bridges between individuals, their team members, and the organization as well.
To build authentic leadership, new managers must identify their barriers to success, get clarity on their unconscious biases and work actively to establish their leadership philosophy within their teams.
As disruption and change become a constant in the enterprise environment, managers have to do more than managing. More than managing, the new world of work demands managers to coach more.
Developing coaching skills and adopting a coaching mindset allows managers to
- Promote employee, team, and organizational connections without pitting well-being and productivity at odds.
- Fulfill their roles as enablers of individual and team success. They do so by helping individuals identify their strengths, limiting beliefs, improvement areas, and personal barriers to success.
- Help their team members develop their talent to maximize outcomes effectively.
To coach effectively, new managers need to learn the key skills that allow them to coach their teams to success. These skills include active listening, empathy, non-judgment, and the willingness to learn new things amongst others.
Developing influence is a key leadership goal that new managers must learn. Influence determines how engaged the team is and their willingness to put in discretionary effort. It is the factor that encourages team members to go above and beyond the call of duty and take true ownership of their work. It is also determined by the quality of feedback that the manager provides, its frequency, and its effectiveness.
Influence cannot be built with force. The influence that emerges from the force is fear. Where there is fear, there is no trust and connection. As such, new managers have to develop goals to become more empathetic and understanding towards others. Self-awareness and identifying personal biases, both conscious and unconscious ones, create authentic connections that build trust and influence.
Improve resilience and adaptability with an entrepreneurial mindset
Since change and disruption are near constants, managers, especially new managers have to identify ways to improve their individual and then team resilience and adaptability. Resilience and adaptability influence flexibility and the capacity to find solutions.
New managers need to develop an entrepreneurial mindset that helps them view all kinds of change and challenges as growth opportunities or improvement areas. A winning mindset allows managers to move from a ‘know-it-all’ to a ‘learn-it-all’ attitude.
Since managers have to lead by example, displaying an entrepreneurial mindset allows team members to fail and learn from their mistakes. This approach enables people to build their resilience and adaptability while creating an environment of continuous learning.
Good managers are great leaders who inspire action, accountability, and ownership from teams. To achieve this, they need to build authentic connections with a diverse set of people, manage the tactical, strategic, and relational elements of work, and also provide inspiration and agency to their teams.
Moving from being an independent contributor in a team to overseeing an entire team’s output can be a daunting proposition for new managers. They need coaching to help them settle into their new roles and lead effectively.
Start a 60-day pilot of NumlyEngage™ to help your new managers develop the right mindsets and skill sets to build and lead high-performing and highly engaged teams.