25 tips for managing your first direct reports


Congratulations, you’re now the boss! Welcome to the deep end of the pool — now it’s time to learn to swim.

Managing your first direct reports is one of the most challenging transitions a leader will ever have to navigate. If I were to sit down over a beer or cup coffee and mentor a new first-time boss, here’s what I’d have to say (over a series of meetings, not all at once):

1. Be prepared.
Granted, while in many cases it may be too late to prepare, it shouldn’t have been. There are lots of things an aspiring leader can do to get ready to be a manager, including on-the-job experiences, reading, taking courses and learning from others. If you get offered a promotion and you’re not prepared, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.

2. Recognize that it’s a new job.
Even though you were most likely promoted within a function where you were the best engineer, you are no longer an engineer — you’re a manager. The good news is, you have a track record of success. You know how to learn and succeed so don’t ever lose sight of that and don’t lose your mojo.

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Symbol for copy & paste problem on the English...

Symbol for copy & paste problem on the English Wikipedia. Made from 2 images from the OpenClipart Library & own work from English Wikipedia Graphics Lab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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