It’s no secret that those who find themselves tossed into management with little more than a hope and a prayer aren’t ready to fully engage in all that is required of more experienced managers. But there is certainly something about you that indicated you were right for this job. Your job is to build on these strengths, while you try and master the other skills necessary to be a successful leader. Here are seven ways you can shine from day one:
1. Manage those above you. Some of you may be thinking, “How the heck am I going to manage people above me when I haven’t even figured out how to do my job?” Trust me. I can tell you from personal experience that if you don’t begin with managing up, you won’t have to worry about managing down. It is critical to learn how to manage these relationships effectively so that you can secure the resources you need to be successful in any situation. Observe how others successfully gain resources in the organization and follow suit when their approach aligns with your values.
2. Decode your boss. I can’t recall a time when I’ve seen a boss adjust their management style to that of an employee’s. This means you will be the one who will be doing the adjusting. Begin by observing how your manager uses authority, the way she relates to others, and her communication style as a leader. Most bosses typically fall into one of the following categories: dictatorial, laissez-faire, bureaucratic, consultative. Once you determine the type of manager you’ve been handed, you can then study ways to work most effectively with this type of leader.
3. Become a master player of office politics. You are in the game, so deal with it. In every organization, there are unwritten rules. We call this office politics. The sooner you understand these rules, the better. Politics in the workplace isn’t just about manipulation. It’s about using power effectively to get what you need. People who are masters at this game follow unwritten rules that allow them to maneuver swiftly through the organization to obtain scarce resources, approval of prized projects, and promotions. Can you see now why it’s important to pay attention to this?
4. Toot your own horn. For years we’ve been taught that it’s not polite to brag. But if we don’t do so, how will others know about our contributions? I can assure you when companies are putting together lay-off lists they aren’t including those whose contributions are well known throughout the organization. You may be the best singer in the room, but no one will know this if you never open your mouth.
5. Manage performance. No one likes to tell an employee they are not meeting expectations, but how can they improve without feedback? Clearly define your expectations and communicate regularly so employees know exactly where they stand all year long. Provide timely well-thought-out performance reviews that are specific in nature so employees know exactly the type of behavior you would like to see repeated.
6. Be respectful. Be mindful of your tone. It’s easy to bark orders and have others respond out of fear. But eventually you’ll gain a reputation that will be difficult to shake. Effective leaders do not yell at their employees nor do they chew them out in front of customers or other employees. They speak to them like they matter.
7. Hire the best. At first it may be a bit intimidating hiring people who are smarter than you. You will shine the most when those around you are beaming. Hire bright people who will step things up in your workgroup and do whatever it takes to see that they are promoted.
Good advice. We all need to be reminded from time to time how the game woeks.…
"When I was a kid, I thought a lot about what made me different from the other kids. I don’t think I was smarter than them and I certainly wasn’t more talented. And I definitely can’t claim I was a harder worker — I’ve never worked particularly hard, I’ve always just tried doing things I find fun. Instead, what I concluded was that I was more curious — but not because I had been born that way. If you watch little kids, they are intensely curious, always exploring and trying to figure out how things work. The problem is that school drives all that curiosity out. Instead of letting you explore things for yourself, it tells you that you have to read these particular books and answer these particular questions. And if you try to do something else instead, you’ll get in trouble. Very few people’s curiosity can survive that. But, due to some accident, mine did. I kept being curious and just followed my curiosity. First I got interested in computers, which led me to get interested in the Internet, which led me to get interested in building online news sites, which led me to get interested in standards (like RSS), which led me to get interested in copyright reform (since Creative Commons wanted to use similar standards). And on and on. Curiosity builds on itself — each new thing you learn about has all sorts of different parts and connections, which you then want to learn more about. Pretty soon you’re interested in more and more and more, until almost everything seems interesting. And when that’s the case, learning becomes really easy — you want to learn about almost everything, since it all seems really interesting. I’m convinced that the people we call smart are just people who somehow got a head start on this process. I fell like the only thing I’ve really done is followed my curiosity wherever it led, even if that meant crazy things like leaving school or not taking a “real” job. This isn’t easy — my parents are still upset with me that I dropped out of school — but it’s always worked for me."
Casey Neistat Rode His Bike Though Hurricane Sandy and Made Us This Video
Following Twitter like it was a verbal TV, I saw that Casey Neistat was out in Sandy. I tell ya, that guy has a pair of waterproof brass balls. Hollered at him to ask if he’d shoot a little video for us, and here’s what went down:
“Hugely destructive weather events are going to keep happening, and they are going to get worse and worse, and living through them is something that will be a part of all our lives from now on, whether we like it or not.”