Tag Archives: first time manager


Playing a Role and Not Just Becoming a First Time Manager


So you are about to become a “First Time Manager”?

Well, let’s get a few things straight right at the start. First about “becoming”: You are not going to become a First Time Manager, you will only start playing a new role. You will be the same. Only the role will change. This is exactly like taking on new roles in your life: The role of a Mother or father, when your first child is born; taking the role of a Caregiver when your parents are aging, taking on the role of a spouse if and when you get married…and so on. You remain the same. Only the role you are playing changes from time to time. Next let’s look at “First time”. This moment is seeing a first time “you” that life has never seen before! Our body and mind is changing all the time. Everything is renewing itself. All is flux.

So when we take on a new role, what are a few things to keep in mind to make the transition happen with ease, grace and joyful effectiveness?

Here are a few tips that can apply to the role of First Time Manager, or to any other role that you are taking on for the first time:

  1. Remember, you are not the role. You are playing a role. Do not take the problems or challenges of the new role personally. Stay anchored in who you really are > Pure Potentiality. The way to do this is to take repeated and short moments of Silence several times a day to get in touch with your positive and pure potential;
  2. Understand what others expect from your role. Go out and listen to them. Remember, every role has its “Customers”… people who will receive the outputs of your work or efforts in the role; Do not do this just at the start of playing a new role. Keep doing it regularly. Remember, all is in flux and expectations can, and do change;
  3. In a study of the people who rose to take on increasingly responsible roles in organisations, we have found that those who are self-motivated and life-long learners rise to taking on increasingly more responsible roles; stay with a beginner’s mind. Make learning a lifelong habit. Sumant Moolgaonkar, the creator of Telco (Now Tata Motors) would keep learning about Automobiles at 80 years of age. Bill Veltrop, a 92-year-old leading light in Organisational and Leadership development, learns like a first year college student, diligently making notes and asking questions with the utmost openness and humility. As Eric Hoffer has said,

“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

All the best for playing your new role! Be sincere, and don’t take it too seriously!


First Time Managers Mistakes

First Time Manager – Avoid these Mistakes

First Time Managers Mistakes

Being a First Time Manager (FTM) can be very exciting at first, overwhelming in the middle and enlightening in the latter part 🙂

Are you interested in learning about 7 mistakes FTM’s make? Then read on…

  • Still thinking like an Individual contributor:

You are a star performer! Based on your performance and potential you have been promoted to the Manager level. Hearty congrats!

Now what? In my 20 years of experience as a corporate manager, I have seen many of the FTM’s still keep thinking like an individual contributor. But as a Manager you need to think for your team and team objectives first. Look at the Big Picture.

  • Not learning key skills and competencies for a Manager

As an individual contributor, you mainly focus on your technical skills, domain skills and skills required to accomplish your personal work goals. Now, as a Manager in addition to these skills you need to develop the following skills as well:

          1. Team communication

          2. People Management

          3. Developing people

          4. Getting the work done from the team

  • I am the expert, others are not

You are an expert in your area of work and that’s why you were elevated to the Manager’s role. Many FTM’s fear that delegating the work to others may impact the quality of work. This is a double whammy, on one side you as a Manager get overloaded and on the other side your Team is not getting opportunity to learn new things. So it’s a LOSE-LOSE proposition for all. To make it a WIN-WIN, learn to delegate effectively.

  • Not knowing the strengths of team members

I recommend you to spend a good amount of time with your teams to understand them better so that each team member’s strength can be identified and leveraged for achieving the results. Also this significantly improves team motivation and effectiveness.

  • Not managing stakeholder expectations

As a FTM you are now required to work with many stakeholders in addition to your Boss including your customers, team members, HR & other departments, vendors and many others. It is really important to manage their expectations and getting the work done from each one of them. It’s a skill to balance the Interest and Influence of different stakeholders.

  • Giving & receiving feedback

For some Managers giving feedback feels like an awkward and unpleasant task. It’s important to give constructive feedback based on the Situation, Behaviour and Impact it caused. Also, it is very useful for a Manager to receive feedback from all the stakeholders regularly. This creates an open environment and continuous improvement.

  • Not managing Conflicts

Conflicts are an integral part of working in teams. One of the mistakes many First Time Managers make is to not act on the conflict quick enough. They wait and hope for the conflicting parties to resolve the conflict by themselves. A proactive approach to conflict resolution is recommended. Collaboration is the name of the Game!

I will be happy to know your comments about this article and also your experiences as the First Time Managers.

Hemant Deshpande


Three Lessons Learnt as a First Time Manager

First Time Manager

Congratulations, you are a manager now – a ‘First Time Manager’. Wow!

Here are three lessons that I learnt many years ago, when I became a manager for the first time.

  1. You will be told less; you will be asked more.

Life would have been simpler if you were told what to do, when to do it, how much time to invest in it. But you got to figure it out for yourself. So set your mind on it, ask around, ask your boss, ask your mentor and determine what you need to achieve.

  1. Everyday, there will be just two or three things that will make all the difference.

If you begin your day with a ‘to-do’ list, and keep adding to the list as the day goes on, and work on the list from top to bottom…you will achieve nothing, but frustration and anger. Make a three-top-items list, do them one at a time, fighting all interruptions and noise. You would have achieved two or three significant things at the end of the day. Day after day.

  1. The more you do the less you will achieve.

The frustration for every first time manager is that their subordinates are nowhere near as good as they were. The temptation is to do it yourself. That’s bad. That’s bad because it will keep you busy with the work that your subordinate is supposed to be doing. That’s your comfort zone. So resist the temptation, coach your subordinate and get on with the challenges of your new job.

Learn the above lessons well, and you will be a manager that your boss has been dreaming of.

All the best!

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