5 Lessons from Being a Manager

by Greg Skloot
Management   |   2 Min Read
management lessons

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.

3. Over-communicate

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.

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4. Littles rituals make a big difference

Every Monday morning, at the beginning of our staff meeting, my marketing team goes around the table and shares “highs and lows,” recapping the best and worst parts of their weekends. It is a fun little ritual that is oddly effective for bonding our team together. Consider implementing similar rituals and inventing your own.

5. Transition from individual to advocate for others

The toughest part of transitioning to a manager is that your focus historically has been looking out for yourself and making your own deliverables a success. Now, you’re being measured in enabling others to succeed and advocating for them when needed. That’s a big change!

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