There was no class on “how to manage people effectively” before I started a business. Many of the best managers started when they were teenagers, and have learned a ton of lessons along the way. Consider these 5 takeaways:
1. It’s harder than it looks
Becoming a manager is a big change from being an individual contributor. Suddenly you are responsible for an entire group of other people, their needs and emotions. It can quickly become overwhelming. It’s tough to prepare or imagine that until you are a manager for the first time. Reading books and articles can certainly be helpful, although there is no better way to learn than actually trying it yourself and figuring it out as you go.
2. Stay Organized
Good managers stay organized so the team can just focus on their jobs. They organize resources so everyone has access to what they need and they organize people so everyone understands what their role is. If you aren’t naturally organized, that can be a major weak spot as a manager, and something to work on.
First-time managers quickly learn that communication is everything. If the team doesn’t understand what the goals are, what progress is being made and who is responsible for each deliverable, they’ll all just go in circles. Consider leveraging processes like weekly staff meetings and written status updates.