Hey Bro, Congratulations on your promotion. Years of hard work finally paid off, and now you are a manager! You have climbed another step in your career ladder. In addition to pay hike, got your own Cabin/cubicle, even an executive assistant(may be). Now that your responsibilities have increased, here are some tips which helped me manage them successfully.
1. Assigning Priority:
As a manager your work load naturally increases. You are now responsible for your work as well as your entire team. So it is absolutely important to assign priorities to the work list. You are always best judge to decide the priorities. An important project takes precedence to routine team meeting, or replying an mail. Best way to assign priority is to follow 4D principle, Do, Defer, Delegate & Delete. Or you could also use Steven Covey`s Matrix approach.
Again, you will have to play many roles as a manager. Execute your responsibilities, manage the team, deliver the outcome, liaise with the management etc. But the time you have is still the same!. Hence there is no other option, but to multi task. I am well aware, multitasking sometimes leads to errors, but gradually you will get a hang of it and mundane things will go on auto pilot.
As a manager your work mostly depends on interaction with various internal colleagues as well as help from external service providers and it is essential to have a good rapot with them. But to be frank, some people won’t respond to you, till you sit on their neck. So don’t be hesitant. Keep calling. Send reminders. Don’t stop till you get what you require. Keep the escalation matrix handy. If you don’t get the things done, refer it to his/her boss. But never go directly to their superiors. I am not asking you to be rude. Just be persistent. Being persistent gets you results, being rude gets you nowhere. You will realize the difference once you start experiencing it.
Being said that, please remember, one phone call is 10 times effective than an email. A visit to their cabin/office is 10 times effective than a phone call. So act accordingly.
4. Time management:
As I mentioned earlier, you will have limited time and a lot of things to do. Trust me, you won’t get any help. Initially even I felt overburdened. But extensive use of technology helped me a lot. Try to automate as much as possible. It saves a lot of time. You are Lucky, if your Boss is pro automation. Avoid or cut down repetitive tasks. Organize your inbox and folders. Don’t keep pending papers on your table. Try to skip unnecessary meetings (yes! You heard it right, those where there will be lot of deliberations and no decisions). You will have to work on holidays and weekends sometime. It’s inevitable. In my tenure of nearly 10 years, I have hardly taken 30 days off. You just have to start loving what you do. Then you won’t feel the stress.
And, sticky notes helps a lot. After all, our brains can remember only so much.
5.Concentration and Speed:
You may feel these two doesn’t go hand in hand. But it should. As being a manager is a crucial position, accuracy is the lifeline here. You can’t afford to make any mistakes.
However, if you are slow in what you do, You will miss the deadlines. You should learn to balance them both. There is no trick to master this balance. It comes to you only by practice.
6. End to end thinking:
You should develop end to end thinking as it is absolutely essential if you want to excel. As you are becoming a manager for the first time, I can understand you may not have had opportunities to learn this skill. To put it simply, keep the end in mind. That should define all your activities. Then you will see the difference.
Always have the broader picture in mind before you do even the smallest things. Every activity you do, will have a domino effect on something else. If you realize this simple reality, you will always be two steps ahead. This really helps a lot, especially while interacting with other colleagues. don’t get irritated/frustrated with their silly and stupid requests, “keep the end in mind”.
7. Co-relation between things
What I mean by this is, you should be in control of the things. You should know what happens if you do X rather than Y. How is it going to effect the overall picture.
You should be on top of the data. Always!
You should always be able to relate one part of your work with many other areas which it is going to effect.
8. Handling pressure
Pressure is inevitable as you are a Manager. You will get lot of pressure from the top management, other managers etc. but don’t budge to that. Always make sure the you follow the book no matter what. Don’t be prejudiced. Once you enter the office, all other friendships has to be kept aside. Don’t let people take undue advantage of your personal friendship.
I am sure you are already an expert in your respective field. So, hope these pointers helps you in becoming the best Manager in your company!! All the best!!