New managers: we can empathize. So we asked eight of LaSalle Network's managers to share what they wish they'd known when they first became managers.
Sirmara Campbell Twohill
Chief Human Resources Officer
Managing is never one size fits all. You have to change up the way you manage individuals. What works for one person does not work for the next. You have to figure out what motivates each person and act accordingly.
Chief Operations Officer
What I wish I knew then... to not be afraid.
Afraid of door knocking and what people would say - no one cares!
Afraid of telling a client no - they like honesty!
Afraid of a tough conversation - most are easier than you expect!
Afraid to deliver bad news - bad news is a part of life and business. It happens all the time!
There are so many things that people can be afraid of in business, but at the end of the day, if you are nice and honest, nothing is so detrimental that it can't be fixed (for the most part)... AND it's usually not as bad as you think!
Chief Financial Officer
Throughout your career you'll be faced with questions you don't know the answer to. When that happens, don't try to guess or make up an answer; it will always backfire on you. It's okay to say, "I don't know the answer. But I'll find out and get back to you with the answer." Then actually go find the answer AND be sure to get back to them in a timely basis. That's how you build credibility and trust with clients, customers, and the people you manage.
Senior Director of Marketing
Read everything about management and leadership you can. Learn about different types of leadership and the management styles of famous leaders (Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, etc). Do your research, and then realize your style may be nothing like theirs, and create your own.
It will take time and there will be bumps along the way. Be honest about your struggles and shortcomings, and ask a ton of questions of those leaders who inspire you.
Director of Healthcare Partnerships
Even if I think I can do it better I have to take the time to train or just let the junior people handle the task. Proper delegation is the key to sustainable growth, and if you're not able to trust your team to do the tasks you give them, growth will either slow down or become non-existent.
This is something I still have trouble with sometimes. With our fast moving business it can be tough not taking over!
I wish I would have known how important perspective can be in every situation. We often discuss putting yourself in other people's shoes. When faced with staff management challenges such as attitude, execution, or ability to complete a task, having perspective matters. I think about where the person is mentally, their background/training, and what they have accomplished in the past; all of this is vital for knowing how to guide them in the current situation.
Keeping those factors in mind helps me have perspective on why a certain issue may come up or why it was handled a certain way, and sometimes it helps me see how to be a better manager, too!
Director of Technology Services
I wish I had known that I should treat my first management role like I was going back into an entry-level position. I was promoted into the role and took over a team largely consisting of people with more tenure than I had. In my first few months I was over-compensating in areas of my job I wasn't familiar with, and in doing so I probably lost some of my team's respect. New managers should have a mentor to help develop their skills, but they should also know that its okay to ask questions and learn from those they manage.
One of the aspects of management that has stood out in my short stint is the importance of providing feedback on delegated tasks, good or bad, on a regular basis.
As a manager, overseeing and reviewing becomes more common than being in the trenches. My team is eager to receive feedback on completed projects. This is both beneficial for the individual and the manager because it grants me the opportunity to praise them or provide constructive criticism. By doing so, you acknowledge their hard work, and you help them grow.