The First 100 Days

Being a new manager is probably one of the hardest transitions to make. In the USA, the first 100 days of a presidency has become the barometer of a commander in chief's governing power, or lack thereof. So to help newly promoted managers succeed in making a smooth transition, here are some things to bear in mind during your first 100 days.

Most people are promoted into their first managerial position with little or no support. It is assumed that just because you were a star performer when you were part of the team, you will be a star performer as the team’s manager. But to really succeed in management you need to master an entirely new set of skills. In your first 100 days beware the following pitfalls:

Newly promoted managers need to quickly learn that their team are watching them a lot more closely than they did when they were just a team member. Every action and inaction will be noted (and copied) by your team. You must learn to lead by positive example.

As a manager you will also get more credit (as well as more blame) than you deserve for the performance of those you manage. Whilst the credit is nice to get, you must never take the credit for the successful work others do. As for the blame – well that is part of the job!

Being a manager gives you certain power over others. You can decide who does what and when. But having power over other human beings is one of the most reliable ways to turn even the nicest people into selfish jerks – and selfish jerks do not create engaged teams. Learn to be humble.

New managers need to quickly learn about the different personalities around them. If one of your team is the sort of character who has to be right, don’t argue with them - every minute you spend arguing is a minute not spent on solving the actual problem. Acknowledge their point of view, then move on to solve the problem.

New managers need to learn that management is not about creating clones of yourself. This can lead to poor hiring decisions.

One of the biggest challenges managers need to learn is delegation. Most managers gravitate toward doing the familiar, but as a manager, your role has changed and you must now work through other people. Therefore you have to learn how to provide direct instruction and give effective feedback.

Managers promote change, but any change can be hard and people resist. You can make change easier to accept and do if you have the context and reasoning behind it. Being a good manager requires a degree of transparency in the change process and in your decision-making. Good listening skills are vital.

Finally, you will not wake up one morning knowing how to be a great manager. That requires ongoing effort, practice, feedback and coaching from others. A good manager recognises their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of those they manage. They are willing to ask for help and admit when they don’t have the answer. They undertake a lifetime of continuous personal development.

If you are a new manager then our effective management skills open course will help you make the transition effectively.