- Being the boss isn’t easy — especially if this is your first rodeo.
- We put together a 30-day guide to effective people management to help you out.
- Each day marks a different step in the process. On Day 8 you’ll warn your employees that you’ll probably mess up. And on Day 17, you’ll ask your team for "feedforward."
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Taking on a management role for the first time can be intimidating.
Suddenly, everyone’s looking to you for answers — and now that you’ve got the power to fire or demote at will, some people may be terrified of you.
But there’s a reason you were chosen to lead a team, and likely all you need is a little guidance. To that end, we put together a 30-day plan to becoming the best (and least terrifying) boss you can be. Each day features a different leadership tip, based on research or expert opinion.
Read on and take comfort in the fact that many newbie managers have walked the same path before you. Here’s what they’ve learned:
Day 0: Don’t take on a leadership role until you’ve had some management or mentoring experience
VFS Digital Design/Flickr
Becoming a boss might seem like the natural way to progress in your career. But if you have no interest in managing a team and sitting through meetings every day, you might want to think twice.
If you’re not sure yet, that’s OK too.
According to Bharath Jayaraman, who has worked in human resources at companies including Facebook and Amazon (he’s currently the HR director at JUUL Labs), "Never make anyone a people manager without making them a mentor for a new hire on your team first."
Another option Jayaraman proposed is to organize groups of people who have expressed some desire to be managers and have them go through more formal training.
"When people go through that and then say, ‘Hey, this is not what I thought I would do as a manager; I’m not sure that’s for me,’ that is a great outcome," Jayaraman said.
Day 1: Get to know each person on your team — including who’s a ‘rockstar’ and who’s a ‘superstar’
Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr
There’s no one, universal management style that works for everyone. And that’s why it’s so important to learn about each person on your team.
Sally Boyle, international head of human capital management at Goldman Sachs, has said "the best way to be inclusive is to really know your people." In other words, "to know every single person that works for you and know what makes them tick, what opportunities they might want, what they need to get better at, what feedback they need to have."
That includes knowing who’s a "rockstar" and who’s a "superstar," terms coined by Kim Scott. Scott is a former Google and Apple executive, a CEO coach, and the founder of Radical Candor. She said most great employees can be divided into two categories: rock stars and superstars.
Rockstars are all about stability (hence the "rock" in their name) — so they’re the ones who wouldn’t especially benefit from a promotion. Superstars are all about upward growth, and promotions may be exactly what they’re looking for.
Day 2: Learn which traits and behaviors make leaders at your organization excel
Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr
The best way for a new boss to earn the team’s (and the company’s) respect is to learn what makes leaders there excel — and start replicating those traits and behaviors.
A 2008 study by Cameron Anderson at the University of California, Berkeley, found that employees’ personality traits predict their influence in an organization, even beyond factors like job performance.
As Adam Galinsky, a professor of business at the Columbia Business School, put it, you can "speed up" the process of earning respect "if you can match the cues that you’re emanating with the [traits] that are valued in that group."
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