Office Politics 101: Advice on the promotion

I’ve just been promoted to manager of our small five-person department. Any advice for me?

Q: I’ve just been promoted to manager of our small five-person department. It’s an exciting opportunity, but I am frankly quite nervous. I want to do a great job. Any advice for me?

A; Congratulations! Your nervousness is to be expected; after all, this is your first opportunity to manage others, not just complete assigned tasks.

In some ways, becoming a manager is a little like becoming a parent. You can plan for it, even read a few books, but when the day finally arrives, you need to rely on common sense and a belief in your capacity to succeed.

You’re a boss now: you are accountable for the work of others. This fact should comfort you to some extent because your employer has chosen you for your potential. They believe in you and want you to do well.

As you approach your new duties, let me make one critical recommendation: strive for balance. Don’t forsake your family by becoming a workaholic. Exercise regularly, eat healthy meals and don’t feel obliged to attend every meeting.

Some newly-minted managers mistakenly believe they should suddenly take on a new personality; this is not generally recommended as co-workers and those reporting to you will likely not appreciate your hollow attempt to act like a make-believe manager.

Someone once said it is better to be a first class version of yourself rather than a second class version of somebody else.  In other words, copying the behavior of other managers will do little to build credibility with your employees.

On a more practical level, it would be good to carefully review the position description for your new job. It is likely this document will be used as the primary standard for your evaluation so keep it close at hand.

In addition, assess the duties of the five employees reporting to you. You may be surprised to find they are not always “on task” and have even given up or assumed new responsibilities. Your role as their manager will be to hold them accountable – don’t shy away from this key responsibility.

If your department has few or irregular meetings, you should immediately institute one on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  Regular and consistent communication should improve morale, allow an airing of concerns, and will give you the opportunity to build a team.

Ultimately, you will succeed by leading by example. Late arrivals, long lunch hours, lengthy breaks, extended phone calls and personal Emailing would be the negative model for your employees. Remember: you are being watched.

Becoming a manager should be a wonderful career opportunity for you. Be prepared to work hard, focus on your assigned tasks, and maintain balance.

Motivate your team by example and don’t lose your sense of humor (which is a great stress-reliever).

Simon Gibson is a university professor, marketing executive, corporate writer and civic leader. He is a graduate of four public universities, including Simon Fraser University, where he earned his doctorate in education. He also also holds a degree in journalism (honours) from Carleton University. His email address can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Mixed Nuts a second year tradition for Maple Ridge dancer

Mixed Nuts is a unique interpretation of The Nutcracker

Pitt Meadows band takes all at The Roxy

Typical Dreamers win $5,000 in Vancouver competition

Create memories, not garbage this holiday season

Recycling depot in Maple Ridge will also be closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Adopt a family this Christmas in Maple Ridge

The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries are looking for sponsors

Good Reads: Holidays at Maple Ridge library

Annual Food for Fines campaign underway.

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read