Leadership Advice for First Time Managers

5 April 2022

You are finally assigned to lead executives. Whether as a team lead or a manager, this is the start of more promotions and an upward career path but only if you prove yourself. Leadership is an important skill that corporate management and SMEs owners look for when they identify talents in their organisation. This article shares leadership advice for first time managers using 3Fs.

Some first time managers may feel overwhelmed as leading another person is an additional task. They worry about how to make their direct report like them and not leave the job.

Other first time managers think that their role now is to assign tasks and making sure the team hit their KPIs. They become very task-focused and overlook the need of building their leadership style and skill as well. The latter is more important especially if you are a first time manager.

The 3Fs – Nurture First Time Managers To Be Leaders

Yet, it may be too much to ask for first time managers to define their leadership style so soon. After all, you have just started to lead. Leadership style takes time to define as it is built on your authentic character as a leader.

What can you do in the meantime? When my direct reports start leading a team and come to me for advice, I ask them to start with the 3Fs – Firm, Fair and Focus.

1. Be Firm

Set expectations and be firm about it. Communicate on your preferred working style and your expectations. This should cover both parties’ expectations mutually agreed to. Open communication like this also sets a very good start in building trust with your new direct reports.

2. Be Fair

Treat everyone the same with no special privilege. If any of your direct report makes a mistake, you should be firm and hold him / her accountable. This includes yourself. If you have an expectations on punctuality for your team, then you also should adhere to this and be held accountable if you violate it. By treating everyone equally, the team will be more open to you and share honest feedback. This is one of the ways to cultivate respect.

3. Stay Focus

Give your team a direction and stay focused. I have come across first time managers who are not able to manage their managers’ expectations. Therefore, agreeing to too many things until they cannot focus. When you cannot focus, your team will be running around like a headless chicken. Pace out your goals, set a timeline and direction. Communicate it to your direct reports. Once you are done with the first set of goals, you can move to the next.

There you go, the 3Fs (Firm, Fair and Focus) to kickstart your leadership journey as a first time manager. It’s easy to remember and simple to execute. Don’t get overwhelmed by the complexity of leadership styles as you begin your journey. Build on your character and your style will follow. It takes time for you to develop your leadership style and it has to be authentically you. Not made to be but as the leader that you are.

To read more of my articles, visit www.passiolink.com.

Kareen Woo, ACC

kareen.woo@passiolink.com

I believe that 90% of our success depends on how we influence and win others. You find your problems are mostly people related. You are tired of the constant staff turnover in your team. You find yourself having difficulty adjusting to a new environment after a career move. You want…read more

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