Your role as manager is arguably the most important role in the organization. Your job exists to lead others. That’s a lot of responsibility. Think about it. Everyday, you impact many lives by what you do and how you do it. You affect those in your charge and their families and friends based on the employees’ moods and energy levels after they leave work.
According to Gallup, 70% of the variance in team engagement also lies with the manager. Yet so often managers and aspiring managers are not prepared for the job.
Managing others can be a significant change from being an individual contributor. What made you successful on your own may not help you as a manager. You must unlearn some previously helpful skills and develop a manager’s mindset.
Here are four key mental shifts you must make as a manager.
It is now all about others.
It is no longer about you and your accolades. Your primary role now is to achieve successful outcomes through your team’s work. Shift your focus to setting priorities, developing others, ensuring the team has the resources to be successful and helping them remove obstacles.
Leadership expert, Pat Lencioni, notes that people often see leader roles as a prize for a job well done. They aspire to the role for the prestige, money or control that may come with it. Unfortunately, this entitlement thinking can have the opposite effect on your individual achievement. Your team’s morale, engagement and results dictate your future success.
This will be the most important mindset shift you make and eventually your light will shine as a talent multiplier.
If it’s always easy, you aren’t doing it right.
The manager position is not glamorous. It requires commitment to hard work and uncomfortable tasks. If you are in the right job for you, these challenges are also enormously fulfilling.
Three essential areas seem to unsettle new and seasoned managers.
You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room.
This may be the hardest mental shift for new managers. You are surrounded by a team of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and thinking styles. Listen, value your differences and embrace your own humility and vulnerability.
Encourage the team to teach you new things and help you make decisions. Collaborating with others and requesting their input is not a weakness. It is how the best leaders develop their teams and drive the best results.
Let go of control for better outcomes.
Recall the last time you were micro-managed. How did it impact your motivation? Your engagement? It’s easy to hover when you feel stressed or feel your reputation is on the line.
Make an intentional effort to relinquish control to improve employee motivation and learning. Your support and coaching through the process is key. Gain comfort with mistakes - they accelerate learning.
In Dan Pink’s book, Drive, he shares the research behind human motivation. We need autonomy, purpose and mastery to be fully motivated and engaged with our work. Control can destroy all of these.
You can support team motivation in several ways:
Managing others can be incredibly rewarding but requires a servant mindset and a willingness to be uncomfortable. This mental shift builds employee engagement, fulfillment and results. Your role is vital to the organization and to your team. Make it count.
Supplemental Manager Resources:
Drive by Dan Pink
The Motive by Patrick Lencioni
Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown
Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams by Roger M. Schwarz
“Deliver Effective Feedback With These 14 Tips” by Rochelle Ramos
Sign up to receive these insights directly to your inbox.
Explore manager training and coaching for your organization or yourself with a complimentary consultation. We can discuss your needs and the solution that works best for you.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.