How To Succeed In Your First Middle Management Job
Well done! You got the job, your experience as a practising and successful manager has allowed you to beat off the competition to get to the Middle Management land. Congratulations!
Enjoy the moment and know that your success is well earned and hard won! Be proud of what you have achieved!
Time now to review the skills and knowledge that have got you to this new career point but always make sure that you continually refresh and renew those abilities that have got you this far.
What you do from this point onward will define you as a Middle Manager and as an aspiring Senior Leader.
So, what now? Use the following pointers to shape your approach:
- Managing managers changes everything! This is a difficult challenge but the first point about the new job is that you cannot be right, and get everything right, first time. You DO NOT need to be perfect to survive, prosper and succeed!
- Identify quickly what your strengths are in the new role and seek to develop these as quickly as you can. This is the best place to put all of your effort and drive.
- The weaknesses that you identify should be handed to your team to deal with because investing huge amounts of your time into them will see little by way of reward for a long time. Let them go!
- Invest in the team to make it the very best it can be – this will make the job that much easier and show that you can get the best out of others.
- Seek out the roles that you will enjoy doing and which will bring you a lot of personal satisfaction, remembering that these will show that you can make a real difference to what is going on.
- Recognise and deal with the problem that at this level the operation world is full of ambiguity, complexity and high demands coupled with low or scarce resources. That is why you are there – to make things happen through other people.
- Work on a clear approach that gets you recognised and which makes those more senior to you wake up and take notice of what you are doing and saying.
- Recognise that your team of managers will need coaching so identify quickly, and objectively, who needs what in terms of content and depth. Show them that you trust them and that you also care for their development – this will generate commitment and loyalty which you will need when times get tough.
- Lead more, manage less. This means setting clear direction around what needs to be achieved but involve your managers in setting these goals so that they understand why the goals are set and can therefore make the right decisions in achieving them.
- Develop a good set of influencing skills so that your agenda for change is well-received and so that you can get support from senior managers to deliver this.
- Be a role model and choose your style carefully – be optimistic, supporting and trusting or cynical, over-controlling and a micro-manager. Whatever path you take, choose this carefully and wisely.
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