As we grow and learn as human beings we come across things in life which make us wonder how different things could have been if we knew then, what we know now. Working for a leadership company now, I often think about my first time manager role and how I really wasn’t as good of a manager as I could/should have been. I wasn’t equipped with the right skills that I needed.
I want to share with you my experience about becoming a first time manager, here goes…..
I was 21 years old and worked for a very well known UK bank insurance call center, I managed a team of 10-15 employees. I had previously worked as part of this team before I went to university and during my holidays, so the team were my friends. I climbed up the ranks from individual contributor to team lead. When I became a manager of the team, needless to say things changed. I was still everyone’s friend and I still went out with my close friends on the team Saturday nights, but at work there was a bit of “them versus me.” When people were performing I thought things were great, but when they weren’t being a first time manager was really tough. I remember many a night, going home and crying wondering what I had done to deserve people being so horrible to me, and thinking I never want to be a manager again.
Looking back, I brought some of it on myself. Below are some of the mistakes I made…..
Knowing what I know now, there are lots of things I would have done differently in my first time manager role. I won’t write them all, because I could be here for days but I’ve noted just a few a below.
My experience of being a first time manager, and feeling completely overwhelmed happens all of the time. People are promoted because they are good at what they do, many forget that a manager’s role requires a completely different skill set to that of an individual contributor. What would you have done differently in your first time manager role? Or if you haven’t been a manager yet, but looking to become one, what is your greatest concern about being a first time manager?
Sarah-Jane Kenny – EMEA Channel Solutions Consultant at the Ken Blanchard Companies
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