Moving up the corporate ladder is exciting. You start to see your hard work pay off in the form of monetary promotions and title changes. But if you find yourself as a first time boss leading others at work, it can quickly become scary. Being a first time boss carries a lot of weight with it, so you want to make sure you do the best job you possibly can.
There is a lot of advice out there about being a boss, but not for those people who find themselves a first time boss. In this post, I will walk your through some keys to making sure you are successful and lead a great team.
7 Keys For A First Time Boss
#1. Get A Mentor
If you want to be successful in anything you do, including a leader, your first step should be to find a mentor. Think back to all of your jobs and which boss or bosses you had that were great leaders. Once you identify them, reach out to them for guidance. I have found that getting advice and wisdom from successful people in the same field is priceless.
And in the case you can’t think of a great former boss, you have another option at your disposal – a coach. There are many great career coaches out there that will help you to fine tune your approach to leading so that you can be the best leader possible.
#2. Connect With Your Team
Once you have a plan for how to lead, you need to get an understanding of your team. The best approach here is to schedule a one-on-one meeting with each person. Ask questions to learn about them. Make sure you learn about them personally and professionally. This will ensure a stronger connection.
When it comes to work, find out the following:
- What are their strengths?
- What are their weaknesses?
- What do they enjoy doing as part of their job?
- What do they dislike doing as part of their job?
- How do they like to be managed?
Getting to know this information will prove to be invaluable. You can tailor you management style to each team member and you can assign tasks based on the duties each person enjoys doing. You can also get a sense of where some bottlenecks are in the workflow and work on ways to figure out how to do things better and more efficiently.
#3. Consult As A Team…
Make sure you involve the team when it comes to change. No one likes to be left in the dark and the more open you can be with your team, the more open they will be with you as a leader.
Additionally, you will want to get their input and make some decisions based as a team. Maybe you are looking to overhaul how a certain process is completed. While you might think it is your decision, by including everyone, you can hear their approval or objections to the idea. You might even find out the changes might make things worse based on how things are currently run.
#4. …But Be A Decision Maker
As great as getting everyone’s input is, there are times when doing this slows down the process. It can also sometimes show that you are incapable or are unwilling to make a decision. This is especially true for a first time boss.
As a result, don’t be afraid to bypass the team and make decisions on your own. Doing so will show the team that you are the decision maker and that will go a long way in earning their trust.
#5. Don’t Forget About Your Boss
As a first time boss, you might find you are overly consumed with your team and making sure you are working at your full capacity. But don’t forget that you have a boss too and you need to consult with her about how things are going and improvements that are being made.
Additionally, you need to make sure you get to know the others above you, not just your boss. The more personal you can be with them, the greater the odds of your success. But don’t just get to know them so that you will be liked.
Get to know them so that you can see what their beliefs are as to how a department or the company should be run. This will help you immensely when pitching new processes or ideas for improvements. You can think like them and come up with potential issues and pushbacks so that when you do present the idea, you can be ready for anything and everything.
#6. Always Be Learning
Regardless is you are a new employee, a seasoned veteran or a first time boss, you should always be learning. Learning comes in many forms. You can find a mentor as I noted above. You can take classes or attend seminars. You can even read books. The key though is that you are always learning and seeking new, better ways to do things.
Technology changes everything about life and if you aren’t on top of the changing times, you are being left behind. But I’m not suggesting you only keep abreast on technology. Learn about different ways of working and dealing with people. Learn about how other successful leaders work.
The more knowledge you have, the better you will be at your job and in life in general.
#7. Take Care Of Yourself
Being the boss for the first time usually takes a toll on your health. You work long hours and face many new, unfamiliar challenges. This leads to a poor diet, lack of exercise and stress. You have to make sure you carve out some time to take care of yourself, regardless of how busy you are or how stressful life is.
You don’t have to be perfect everyday and eat a balanced diet and exercise for 30 minutes, but you should aim to take 30 minutes every day to take care of yourself. Go for a walk. Do some burpees. Meditate. Anything is better than nothing.
Being a first time boss is both an exciting time and potentially a stressful time. Use the keys outlined above to make sure you are at your best and that your team is at its best so you can succeed. Doing so will help to take some of the stress out of the job and lead to more growth not just personally, but also professionally.[Photo Credit: helloquence]