Until last summer, my management experience was limited to self-employment. Being promoted to team manager in a Fortune 500 company has been enlightening, requiring me to become a whole different type of leader. Based on feedback, I have attained success due to a few steadfast ideologies.
- I pride myself on being a source of knowledge for my team. Before becoming a manager, I performed the same duties as the staff I now oversee. I know their job, and I am able to disseminate information to them in an understandable manner that enforces the relevance to their everyday tasks. Surprisingly, not all corporate managers are familiar with the functions performed by their team. My team has confidence that I know what I am talking about. As a result, other teams/departments now come to my team for trusted answers.
- I communicate my high but attainable expectations to my team. And I make sure that I provide the tools and knowledge needed to excel. Our positions involve a fair amount of writing. While other managers settle for employee write ups that are unclear or difficult to decipher, I continually work with my team to improve their written verbiage and grammar. This will translate to more success for them in future endeavors, because written skills demonstrate competence and intelligence. My team knows that I truly want them to do well beyond this job, which encourages loyalty and the desire to perform at their best.
- Respect is an earned action. It is not a right afforded to anyone simply for having the title of Manager. It is earned through action and by treating my employees the way that I would want to be treated in their shoes.
- I believe that I empower my team. I do this by giving them confidence in their abilities, rather than babysitting them. I know their strengths, and when appropriate, allow them the freedom to showcase their competence while working to improve any areas of opportunity. One employee was an adequate performer on his previous team where all of his work was double-checked despite his work quality and tenure, causing him to second-guess himself. After moving to my team, he was allowed to finalize his own work, and with the resulting self-confidence, became the department’s top producer.
Different leadership positions require different styles, and I have made some mistakes along the way, but I’ve learned from them. Using what I know, I strive to bring out the best in my team every day.