For accountants and professional people generally there is a pretty traditional career path. You perform well as a practitioner, you get identified as an up and coming talent and before you know it you are a manager.
So far so good you might think. The thing is many people, especially accountants and professionals struggle when they move into management roles.
So what should you do to increase the chances of being successful as a new manager?
Acknowledge that it is a different role
As a practitioner your effectiveness was judged on your own ability to get things done through your own efforts, skills and application.
As a manager your success is largely determined by how effective you are at achieving results through and with others.
Make sure you keep this at the forefront of your mind.
Get to really know your team
Every member in your team is different. They have different skills. They have different motivations. They have different aspirations. They wanted to receive praise and feedback.
All too often it is easy to fall into the trap of just focusing on people’s skill set rather than focusing on them as an individual.
Involve the people in your team
You obviously have to make the final decision about what to do or how to respond in a specific situation.
On the other hand achieving results is usually going to depend in several people working together.
If you involve them in discussions about options they are much more likely to get behind the final decision, even when it is not the decision they would have made.
Don’t make change for the sake of it
You may well want to make your mark. At the same time you don’t want to be fixing something that isn’t broken.
Bide your time. There will be plenty of chances to make change so you don’t need to do it all right now.
Deal with problems
The transition is rarely completely smooth. Sometimes new managers make the mistake of avoiding dealing with problems.
This is rarely a great strategy.
Determine yourself what is priority
Plenty of people (including your boss) will want to tell you what your priority areas should be for fast action.
It’s often worthwhile just taking time to figure out what really needs attention.
Be a sponge
By that I mean be willing to watch, listen and learn rather than launching into action.
Never underestimate the importance the your team
So often I see new managers neglecting people and their teams and are surprised when they have issues with co-operation.
People are your real assets. Don’t neglect them
Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals to achieve the career success they desire. Learn more here.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.