Get ready to take a punch
Are you a new manager? Do you think you’re pretty smart, pretty good? Well this will be one of the most valuable lessons you ever get. You’re not that good, and you don’t know it all. You know the old adage,
“you don’t know what you don’t know”
– couldn’t be more true. Ask for help. That’s what smart people do.
Imagine a boxer without a coach. Rocky without Mickey. Imagine entering the ring for your title fight, self taught, and exponent of wide world of sports TV. You couldn’t – right? And yet, so many people think they can be a manager by having observed what others do, or by virtue of their self-assessed innate talent for leadership. You might have the potential to be the best manager your company has ever promoted, but there is always someone who can help, believe me. Someone who can make you better. Someone who knows something that frankly, you don’t.
Send me another manager, the last one’s broken
The sheer number of people required to manage others in the workforce means that there will always be a demand that outstrips the natural supply and that consequently, all sorts of people step up to the plate with their chests puffed out and get a go, when actually, they probably shouldn’t. Many just manage, few really succeed and many fail (but often keep their job regardless). You want to be a success, don’t you? Management should be taught in schools, like they are starting to do with leadership. If I am sounding a little harsh, it’s because I firmly believe to be a good manager or leader, you need to get some lessons and you need a support team around you.
Time to get a coach or a mentor
Why don’t people want a coach or a mentor?
I don’t know – you tell me. In fact, do tell me in the comments below, because I don’t understand. Imagine being told “congratulations, it’s your new job to manage this team”, your shiny new promotion. Leaping on the phone to mum and dad and spreading the good news, “I’ve made it, I have a brief case, packed lunch, highlighters and a title”, receiving the love, the pride. Nowimagine walking into work the next day and asking for help. Surely you couldn’t, surely you wouldn’t do that. Wow, what a way to give your ego a black eye. But that’s exactly what you must do. Take the hit. I believe the single biggest reason people don’t enlist support is because they think it makes them look weak, inexperienced, not so smart, when in fact the reality is it’s quite the opposite. It demonstrates self confidence.
Here is the golden secret.
If you don’t have a coach, a mentor, a sounding board, a mate for a coffee – if you’re going it alone, then you’re not the best you can be. Time to take the ego out of the equation and enlist help. Take the time to connect and reap the benefits. I’ve used mentors, I’ve used coaches, I bounce ideas and concerns of colleagues and friends. Some of my best work is in finding someone else to give me the best idea, their idea, their experience.
If you’re serious about being a good manager, then get cracking today. Make a list of your support network right now. Who are the people you can talk to and about what? On the back of a napkin will do. Fred re: finance, Harriet on HR and Ita re: IT. Set up some meetings, ask some questions, tell them your challenges, share ideas, but most of all listen and learn. If you want to be the best manager you can be, this Golden Secret I’m telling you could help you do that, eliminate your blindspots, shine a light on the things you didn’t know you didn’t know, bring out the knockout performer.
Would love to hear your thoughts.