So you’ve been working hard, putting in the hours and you finally got that promotion. It’s definitely time to celebrate. But then, you’ve got to buckle down and do a little learning. See, there’s a funny thing that happens when people are turned into managers: They step into a whole new job with skills they don’t necessarily have. You probably are the best graphic designer, ice cream scooper or nurse on the face of the planet, but you’re going to need a whole new set of skills if people are going to report to you.
Your first assignment: Write down the qualities you liked and the weaknesses you witnessed in your past managers. Keep the list on hand and if you see yourself exhibiting the bad stuff, take a deep breath and start again. You’re human. Make sure your employees know that. Now for some great resources that will help you ace Management 101.
One company that goes to great lengths to ensure their soon-to-be managers understand what they’re getting into is FedEx. The company has an extensive management-training course. Fast Company wrote all about the program along with a very interesting list of the nine attributes FedEx says all great leaders have . Read these pieces and take the lessons of FedEx to heart.
For a complete online management course, spend some quality time at the Management Institute of the Small Business Administration’s website. This site is one for the record books – or at least a notebook. We recommend you print out the pages, pop them into a three-ring binder and keep them close at hand.
Ready for a real-time class that can take you to new management heights? Consider one of the American Management Association’s seminars. It presents nearly 50 different classes in locations across the country.
We hate to bring it up, but as a manager, you should also be ready to handle a little crisis control. Employee relations aren’t always smooth. In case an employee becomes difficult to deal with or fails to fulfill job requirements.
A New Twist on Management
Management is an ever-changing science. Up until now we’ve taught you about places where you could find some of the old-school ways of thinking (not that that’s bad of course). But to quote a bit from Monty Python, “…and now for something completely different.” There’s a whole new way of speaking and thinking out there (the whole “new economy” thing) that extends to managerial tasks.
One great place to start is the book, “First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently.” Gallup Organization consultants Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman combed through thousands (and thousands) of interviews with managers to see how the best ones do what they do. The book offers up solid advice and techniques on how to handle a myriad of managerial situations.
Almost anybody who has ever been a full-time staffer has uttered the question, “How many meetings do we need?” Meetings can be the best – or simply the worst – part of any employee’s day. It’s a manager’s job to make sure meetings have a purpose and that every second is put to good use.
Managing Remote Staffers
Another aspect of the new economy is the growth of remote staff positions. While offsite staffers do present a host of new management issues, don’t out-and-out dismiss the idea. Hiring out-of-towners allows you to find the best person for the job and not just the best person who happens to live within the area.