In this article I will share with you my most important, best and boldest tip on how to start off in the best possible way in any management position you get.
What I would have given to receive this tip when I first started as a manager!
Wait – I did get it!
But I just didn’t act on it.
And that’s pretty dumb, because acting on this tip is really what separates the starters from the pro’s.
So I will not only reveal the tip, I will also help you follow through.
The best tip for new managers
I imagine you’re a bit like me: smart, quick on the uptake, ambitious and brave. Not someone to linger over things.
Especially for people like us, this one piece of advice can make or brake our chances of really having an impact in your new position.
So! Here it is:
How to put this into action
When you arrive at your new office, I can assure you: you will see things that need changing. If you start acting on these impressions of what’s going on and start meddling with the more obvious flaws in the system, you’ll change things that are indeed going wrong. Things will definitely be different, and probably improve,
BUT (and it’s a big but): the problems you saw at first & second glance are not the root of the problems. They’re only the top-half of it, the exterior part. Below that, hidden from direct view, are the reasons why the obvious problems are there. These are things hidden deep in the DNA of the system and cannot be easily seen or ejected.
What happens when you start changing things without seeing the underlying issues, is that the changes you make, will obscure the real challenges.
Springing into action will obscure the deeper, underlying problems
These real challenges will be back at the surface pretty quickly, usually after about 6 months. But by then, you will be part of the system too, making it much harder, if not impossible, for you to even see what’s going wrong, let alone change it. So, by acting immediately, you effectively change nothing.
As I said, I’ve gotten this tip when I started as a manager. But just as most people, I headed off quickly into acting, instead of following through on this advice – and I ruined my changes of being an epic manager for that company right then and there.
What makes it so hard to follow through this advice?
And how to prevent that from happening to you?
Following through on DOING NOTHING is so hard, because every new manager feels the need to prove him or herself. And proving yourself is seemingly done by doing things – not by sitting back and listening.
That’s why, even when this sounds like pretty good advice, most people will forget about it as soon as they walk into their new office.
Another big reason, for me, was plain old arrogance. I believed I was just really quick on the uptake because I saw a lot of problems and things to improve immediately.
Nobody had ever explained to me what will go wrong when you start repairing right away.
Let’s make sure you’ll do better!
What to do instead of acting
My advice is to use a form like this for at least the first two weeks (and in complicated situations at least a month). This a simple and effective way to keep track of your observations, hunches, ideas, and random thoughts. And most importantly, it’ll give you something to do 🙂
I promise: there will be plenty of time to solve the actual problems after this initial period, and you’ll be amazed at how accurate and spot on your initial observations where.
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