There are four key foundations when preparing oneself for a managerial position. Trafford Publishing author Salwana Ali returns with part two of her three part series to share some insight into these 4 imperative subjects…
How do I prepare myself to be ready for the managerial role?
When preparing to be ready for the managerial role, there are four key cornerstones that one needs to be aware of, namely:
The scope of being a manager
First time managers must be aware of the exact scope of being a manager. While a job description of a manager may have details about the job, the “real world” of management is not as straight forward as it is on paper. The common themes of real life managers’ experiences will set the tone for the exact scope of being a manager. The four evolutionary stages of being a manager will help you visualize what the role entails and set the right expectations.
The first stage, Honeymoon, is what the first time managers experience in their initial weeks on the job. At this stage they are excited about their new role. They are elated with the new sense of power and authority that they perceive they are entitled to. They think that the title of managers will drive commitment and obedience from their subordinates. Some may experience a longer honeymoon period than others which is highly dependent on their own situations in their environment. The key is managers should consider avoiding too long a honeymoon period to enhance their chances to be successful earlier rather than later.
The second stage is Reality. First time managers will be overwhelmed by the real demand of their roles earlier than they expect. They typically experience this after a few weeks on the job and this will go on for months. Some will start to take stock of where they stand when they hear feedback, indirectly as well as directly, about their performances.
The third stage is Readjustment. Those who take their performance feedback seriously will start doing something different in order to improve themselves. They reset their approaches and introduce new ways of working with their subordinates and stakeholders. This typically happens after five to six months on the job.
The fourth stage, Coming Together, is the time when the new managers settle in with the role. They are able to discharge authority and secure buy-ins from their team members as a result of the actions executed in the third stage. They are ready to lead.
Understanding the function of leadership and management
It is important to distinguish the functions of leadership and management as they are not the same. The reality is managers need to perform both functions. They can only do this effectively when they have clarity on the distinctive functions of each.
The required behavioural skills
It is imperative that first time managers have the awareness on how success looks like. For instance, the success criteria of one manager may include high morale among his subordinates, growth of new product by 5% and increased business from repeat customers. In order to be successful, he has to understand what’s required of him, his subordinates, his departmental processes and many other elements that will contribute to his success. However, the most basic foundation relies on his behavioural skills to orchestrate and integrate people, process and systems to work together. Focusing on these variables at the onset will help him deliberately prioritize on things that really matter, which in turn will enhance his chance to succeed in his roles
First time managers must be aware that they are embarking on a new territory confined by new rules. They are expected to produce results through people. They are responsible and accountable to the success of their subordinates. They have to be flexible and adaptable to play multiple roles such as negotiators, problem solvers, coaches, mentors, arbitrators, decision makers at any time required. This represents a major shift in work style and approach that new managers must adopt.
Salwana Ali’s Trafford Publishing Bibliography:
Salwana Ali will return in a couple of days to conclude her three part series. In her final piece she shares the tools of evaluating oneself when undertaking a managerial position for the first time. In the meantime you can check out Ali’s blog. You can also check out Trafford Publishing on Facebook.