5 Leadership Secrets For The Newly Minted Manager

Oct 28, 2015

These 5 simple management tips (or Leadership Secrets) are often overlooked and underutilized, especially among those new to leadership positions.

Business life certainly has gotten a lot faster than it ever was before. The evolution of the Internet and the widespread use of smart phones and other hand-held devices contribute to the need for speed. Consequently, leaders feel compelled to move fast, too. Sometimes, however, this can hurt more than help. So, allow me to offer these very specific and nuanced leadership techniques for managing the onslaught of demands that come your way as a senior leader.

Here are 5 simple tips, or “secrets of the trade“, which any leader can be put to use immediately:

1. Sometimes you need to go slow in order to go fast: An oxymoron, perhaps, this bit of advice is invaluable when in the midst of setting direction and managing change. Inevitably, once your course of direction is set, the thirst for change and eagerness to achieve the desired state can become too much to handle. Indeed, you and your team can come to be so impatient that you fail to put the infrastructures in place that are essential to bring the rest of your organization with you.

So, slow down and recognize that it takes time to do it right.

2. Just because “they” asked, you don’t have to answer: Bombarded with questions and issues from every direction, every day, many leaders become extremely reactionary–feeling compelled to immediately answer every question and address every issue that comes their way. It doesn’t have to be that way! You’re not always going to have the answers, nor can every question be answered. Instead, work to surround yourself with the best possible and competent team to help you address what needs to be done, then be sure to institute appropriate problem escalation and triage practices that enable your business to respond to issues and challenges in the most expedient ways.

3. Silence is a tool: As the saying goes, silence is golden! Think of this tip as a corollary to the one offered above. Sometimes a request doesn’t deserve a response. In fact, by not responding to some requests, you are sending a message. Just be sure that your use of silence is used deliberately and you’ll be on your way to using it as a tool to manage your messaging.

4. Less is often more: Another oxymoron for your consideration, this tip is intended to be a reminder that information is a valuable commodity. Give too much, and it can be used against you. So, be careful and thoughtful in your messaging. Yes, it is important to be clear and concise when giving direction and addressing issues. But, don’t be in a hurry to explain every nuance or implication of what you just said. Your community of stakeholders will ask another question is they don’t understand your response.

5. Time can be your friend: You want to be sure to give you and your team the time to think, to collaborate and to decide how to address issues and questions as they arise. Similarly, some of the challenges that you may ordinarily go about tackling, may work themselves out without much intervention on your part, if you just give the situation the time needed for the dynamics to change.

Indeed, time can be a friend if you use it wisely and not be in a crazy rush to immediately “fix” every trial and tribulation that springs up.

In closing, whether you’re new to the leadership ranks or a salty veteran, I hope that these 5 tips resonate with you. Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean that you have to have all of the answers all of the time. However, it does mean that you need to manage expectations and control the messaging as appropriate to ensure the continued success of your organization. So, be sure to put these 5 secrets into your leadership quiver. You’ll surely need them as you continue to fight the good fight!

This article was originally published by inc.com on October 12, 2016

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