So the winds of fortune blew your way, and now you’re a manager. Suddenly those big questions start mouthing off in your head: “Can I really do this? Can I be the boss?” Here are a few tips to help you get through the new intellectual and emotional challenges you might face:
- Know what is expected of you. Sit down with your supervisor and ask him or her to spell out all of your responsibilities specifically.
- Set goals. This will help you and your department get where you want to go.
- Open the floodgates and pay attention to what people tell you—even if you don’t like what you hear.
- Get support. If possible, find an experienced manager you respect and ask that person to be your mentor.
- Be a role model. Lead by example.
- Hold back on the gung-ho attitude. Don’t try to accomplish too much too soon. You’ll alienate the people who work for you.
- Use your past as a map when leading others. Think of all the managers you’ve had—good and bad. Try to incorporate what you learned from the experiences and give the people who work for you what you always wanted for yourself.
- Admit it when you screw up. People will respect you more when you don’t bluff your way through mistakes.
- Take breaks and try to relax. You’ll be dealing with everything from important deadlines to petty office politics. Doing so calmly will win your workers’ confidence.