Question from Job Seeker:
I have been working for the same company for almost 4 years now. Throughout this time, I have worked hard, learned a lot, overachieved, and been promoted faster than anyone else I know in my department: from marketing executive to senior marketing executive and now recently marketing manager. I am very excited about this position yet I find suddenly becoming responsible for the welfare and productivity of a whole unit is giving me the shivers. I want to meet and exceed my top management’s expectations but I have never really managed anyone before. How can I make things right?

Answer from Bayt HR Guru:

Congratulations on your new achievement: now that you have been appointed manager, the first thing you should know is that successful management requires skills entirely separate from the job skills that got you promoted. In all likelihood, you have demonstrated these skills during the course of your career in order to secure the promotion in the first place. However, it helps to pinpoint exactly what it is that will be required of you in this new role and to armor yourself with all the skills you will need in order to succeed as a manager.

Formulate a gameplan: This is best done well before you assume your new role. Arriving on the first day with a gameplan allows you to firmly and solidly start making your mark without appearing hesitant and indecisive to the team. Take time off in between roles to brainstorm, conduct all necessary research and plan ahead with a clear mind.

Plan an early success: Start as you mean to carry on. It is ideal if your gameplan can include guidelines for a successful project that your team can start implementing immediately. An early success will boost the team’s morale and establish you as a successful leader early on.

Know your team: Your first few weeks on the job should be about getting to know your team and the role of your unit within the organization. Meet your team members in one-to-one meetings and get to know what each person does, what their personal goals and ambitions are, what their skills are, how challenged they are in their role, what problems they have had in the past, what they would like to see done differently and what they expect from their manager. These meetings should give you a general grasp of each person’s competence and attitude, both crucial variables in deciding who you want to keep and who needs special attention.

Define your team’s vision and “value” system: A team with a well defined set of objectives and a clear sense of the unit’s value system works better than a team engaged in an endless array of daily tasks. Defining your team’s ‘mission’ successfully should include both a set of solid, quantitative objectives as well as a less easily defined framework of shared ‘values’.

Act like a leader: The best leaders lead by example. Confidence, integrity, fairness and a strong work ethic of your own are critical to your winning the respect and loyalty of your team. You will then need a clear vision, solid administrative skills, open communications channels, flexibility and a good understanding of all the different personalities that work for you in order to ensure that the team is challenged and working towards some common goal.

Good Luck!!

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