In this lesson, the focus is on Adjusting to Your New Role. We’ll cover the complexity and challenges inherent in moving from individual contributor to manager and you’ll learn ideas to help you adjust and adapt successfully to your new role as a manager.
Key takeaways from this lesson:
- The move from individual contributor to manager is one of the most complex—and one of the riskiest you will encounter in your career. The burnout rate during the first-year for new managers is estimated at more than 60%. It’s imperative for new managers to understand the challenges and potential missteps and take action to mitigate those risks.
- On the positive side, when you are successful as a new manager, your career opportunities and promotion possibilities expand considerably.
- As an individual contributor, you were responsible for yourself. You had an “I-centric” perspective. As a manager, you own creating the environment for your group members to deliver needed results. Your focus must be on helping the team. Your perspective must shift to “You-centric.”
- You were historically evaluated on the results you generated. Now, you are accountable for the results of your team. This increased pressure coupled with the feeling of the loss of control often lead to bad habits including micro-managing and dictatorial managing. It’s important to resist the pressure to drive your team to results and instead, help lead them forward by modeling the right behaviors and providing ample support.
- Adopting a growth mindset and focusing on asking questions, listening, observing, and engaging with your team members all support your quest to learn more about the role.
- Part of establishing a growth mindset is challenging yourself to relax your assumptions about people, your role, and your team’s expectations for you. It’s important to let go of preconceived notions about your team members and work closely in developing more objective, fact and experience-based perspectives on them.
- Your instinct may be to resist asking your manager for help in navigating unfamiliar situations. It’s important to remember that your manager selected you for this role and has a vested interest in your success. Many/most managers appreciate the opportunity to teach and welcome frank discussions around difficult issues with their new managers. Additionally, they prefer you ask sooner than later for issues that impact productivity or quality.
- A key failure point for many new managers is avoiding the need to delegate work. Instead of doing it yourself because “you know it will get done right,” it’s imperative for you to parcel out the work and trust your team members to do their job.
- It’s commonplace for new managers to grow frustrated in their roles. While nothing can guarantee a frustration-free experience, it’s important for you to avoid adopting bad manager behaviors. Remember, you need to be “You-centric” toward your team members. You’re there to help!