5 ways to succeed as a new boss

Posted by Amanda Augustine

March 13, 2013 @ 05:10 PM

I’ve been promoted! Now what?

Pope FrancisEarlier today, cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church elected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as the 266th pope. Whether you’re a new pontiff to an organization of more than 1.2 billion followers, or a business professional for a mid-sized company, taking on a new leadership role within your group is no easy task.

Even though you may be working in the same place, your role, responsibilities, and professional relationships are bound to change. Here are 5 tips to help you succeed in your new leadership role.  

Set expectations...for yourself and others

Request a meeting with your new manager to learn what is expected of you over the first 30, 60 and 90 days on the job. If you’re successful during these time periods, what will you have learned or accomplished? Use this information to set goals for yourself over the same time period. Run similar meetings with your new direct reports to set your expectations of them.

Consider the runners-up

There may be one or more people in your group who were vying for the same role. Look for opportunities where you allow this person to leverage their strengths and areas of expertise. The worst thing you can do is undervalue what your colleague can bring to the table. If a colleague is resentful, their behavior will usually catch up with them. Be friendly and professional, but don't forget to watch your back.

Break bread with your team

A leader is only as good as the team behind him or her. Take your direct reports out for lunch and schedule one-on-one meetings to get to know each individual’s strengths, weaknesses, skill set and personality. The better you understand each individual, the easier it will be for you to form a strong, high-performing team.

Make friends with peers

Similar to a job search, it’s important to conduct informational interviews with your new colleagues. These conversations will help you understand the unwritten rules of your new role and get up to speed with current projects, and teach you the best ways to work with your new boss.

Become a sponge

Spend time at the beginning of your tenure absorbing everything you can. Join as many meetings as possible to learn the lay of the land, and be prepared to ask a lot of questions. If you plan on making big changes, you must first earn the team’s trust. Win them over by taking the time in the beginning to learn how things are done and why, so that when it's time to make changes, you can build a strong argument that your colleagues will support.

Taking on a new role is bound to have some challenges. Utilize these tips to transition into your new management position as smoothly as possible. Click on the following link to learn more about onboarding to a new role.

Ask Amanda AugustineAmanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow  @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Career Management