As a manager, you are judged by how well you lead and supervise others. For high achievers this can be a very tough transition because you are being evaluated by how well others do their job and not just your own specific job skills. Imagine an excellent salesperson who gets promoted to sales management. All of a sudden, the fact that s/he is an excellent salesperson is not what they’re being judged upon. So how can you ensure you’ll achieve your own milestones and set your team up for success at the same time?
To get results, you must get buy-in from your team. To get it, you can’t just explain what needs to be done and give direction. You must emphasize why it’s important. Showing the connection to the bigger picture helps team members make better in-the-moment judgments because they’ll be cognizant of the greater goal. Make sure that your team incentives match the goals you’re striving for.
Inexperienced managers tend to meddle in the minutiae of what their teams are doing instead of giving them the tools and support they need to do a great job. This can disempower your team and it causes you to work below your level. It’s easy to get caught up in what might go wrong, but most team members will go the extra mile to do a great job and keep your trust—so demonstrate your faith in them by having their backs, acknowledging their successes publicly, and giving real-time feedback privately.
Think of your team as your customer. If they point out a problem, it’s your responsibility to solve it. Be careful not to make assumptions. Check your understanding of the issue they’re surfacing by repeating it back to the team. Then regularly update them as you work to solve the problem. Doing so will build their trust in you and ensure that critical issues are brought to your attention in a timely manner. Take ownership of your team and remember that it’s their skills and abilities that will make you a success.