Are You Ready to be a Manager?

Many millennials believe they are ready to take the next step up in their career and become a manager. The key question is, are you ready? To be successful, it requires the effort of both you and your boss to ensure readiness and clarity of expectations.

Preparation for the Job

Developing yourself starts before you are given the job title. Your success as a manager will rely more on people and project management skills rather than technical expertise. Start now to develop these talents by taking courses and workshops. If you really want to excel, hire yourself a coach. Additionally, get involved in industry and trade associations since they offer another great way to develop these abilities.

First 90 Days on the Job

When you become a manager, it’s important you have a straight conversation with your boss about expectations and outcomes. More importantly, listen more than talk! You may believe you understand what will be required in your new role; however, being a manager will open up many new and unfamiliar challenges. Schedule weekly conversations with your boss, or more, to ensure you’re on track.

Here are some guidelines to help you:

Clarify. Get on the same page with your boss by reviewing the expectations, job description, and top three goals. This is a critical first step. Also, clarify what can realistically be accomplished in the first 90 days—and remember, your success will depend on your ability to effectively delegate and manage the work of others.

Adjust Perspective. This is the biggest challenge. While you may believe you understand the new role and unwritten expectations, that’s rarely the case. Advancing from employee to manager is like moving from the ground floor to the top floor of a three-story apartment building. The street level provides a limited view (employee). The second floor offers a broader view (manager). And the third floor provides an even wider view (executive). Adjust your mindset by being open to expanding your thoughts and perceptions of how things should be.

Listen and Learn! Find an internal mentor to help teach you what is expected as you move up the company ladder. Company politics are part of any business culture. Hire a coach that can confidentially answer your questions and strategically help you move forward with confidence and competence.

Slow Down Any Changes. Use the first 90 days to learn the terrain. Recommending changes too quickly can create unnecessary upsets. Again, listen and learn — this time from employees, peers and customers. Get their input and build on their ideas before making any modifications. One small change can impact an entire system.

Promote Communication. It’s important for you to meet with all team members, peers and upper management — one-on-one—regardless of previous relationships—to ask questions about departments, goals, expectations and any other concerns.

Second 90 Days on the Job

Remember, You’re Still Learning! Adopting this mindset for the rest of your career will help you tremendously. The challenge for many at this point is they think they have it all handled. Remember, humility will build needed relationships, while a little ego will help you get things done. Not the other way around!

Build on Relationships. Attend professional trade shows and other events to help you stay abreast of industry changes, while expanding your circle of contacts. Their expertise can come in handy when you have a challenge or need to address an issue. Internally, stay in contact with peers, talking about concerns and creating new opportunities. Continuing your weekly meetings with your mentor and boss will keep you on target as you grow into your new role.

Execute Plans and Achieve Intended Results. The goal for you is to elicit the best from others by effectively and productively working with and through them. In order for you to move upward, you need to show you can develop yourself and others, while delivering intended results.

People want to work for true leaders, and being a great manager is the perfect place to start.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and executive coach for over 23 years; and along the way, guided the creation of three millionaires. She is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. Check out her website: or contact Jeannette for a free, confidential conversation at

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