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What 9 Managers Wish They Had Known

Becoming a manager for the first time is never easy; it adds a new set of responsibilities and challenges to the employee's role, and they have to learn a lot of lessons, fast. Sometimes employees who were top producers aren't able to translate their skills into management.

New managers: we can empathize. So we asked nine of LaSalle Network's managers to share what they wish they'd known when they first became managers.

Sirmara Campbell TwohillSirmara Campbell Twohill

Chief Human Resources Officer

16 years at LaSalle

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.






Moe-Headshot-e1361569332283Maureen Hoersten

Chief Revenue Officer

12 years at LaSalle

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!





Lawrence Casas

Chief Financial Officer

7 years at LaSalle

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.




Jess HeadshotJessica Schaeffer

Director of Marketing

4 years at LaSalle

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.




Jason SiegelJason Siegel

Director of Suburban Services, Accounting & Finance

4 years at LaSalle

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!






Devan Neally

Devan Neally

Director, Call Center and Suburban Office Services

4 years at LaSalle

What I wish I knew then......

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!




Allison Penning

Allison Penning

Unit Manager, Marketing Search & Staffing

Branch Manager, San Francisco

4 years at LaSalle

I wish I had known how to be very direct in communication. As a new manager, I was so worried about my staff liking me that I often sugarcoated my message, and then the message was never received.  I was doing a disservice to myself and my staff.

Best advice: when you have to deliver a message to your employee, don't waste time and don't beat around the bush. Get straight to the point and share your feedback or coaching tip. You will see results and improvement quicker, and your employee will thank you for it.




BlakeBlake Angove

Director of Technology Services

2 years at LaSalle

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.




Ryan Chabus2

Ryan Chabus

Accounting Manager

5 years at LaSalle

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.