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How to Be an Effective Boss (Hint: It Requires an Identity Shift)

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Leadership Tips for First-Time Managers

Stepping into a management role for the first time isn’t just a change of task — it’s a fundamental shift of identity.

To be successful, new managers must transition from getting the work done themselves to getting the work done through other people. This requires a new level of self-awareness, an additional range of skills, and a new perspective that redefines success.

If you’re a new manager, your definition of success must now include the success of others. Rather than focusing on your own performance, you need to be considering questions such as:

  • How does the group or team accomplish its work?
  • Are they effective as individuals?
  • Do they collaborate?
  • Are team members committed and engaged?
  • How are individual motivations and needs connected to the work and the organization?

You may find it counterintuitive that the “script” you’ve had in your head and relied upon until now — “my skills, my talents, and my technical knowledge have led to my success” — is no longer your ticket to success as a new leader. In fact, sticking to that same script will actually make you less effective as a new leader.

Learn how to be an effective boss by following our 6 leadership tips for first-time managers.

How to Become an Effective Boss

Make These 6 Shifts for Success In Your New Role

As a new leader, you want to become an effective boss. So, to succeed in your new role, shift the way you think and act in these 6 key areas:

  1. Mindset: You’re leading others now, not just yourself, so gather resources on how to do this effectively.
  2. Relationships: You’ll want to shift from the role of “friend” to the role of “boss” when at work.
  3. Attitude: You’ll need to delegate the work and not try to do it all anymore.
  4. Perspective: You’ll want to be sure you’re seeing the bigger picture.
  5. Focus: You’ll want to focus on what’s right, not what’s easy or self-serving.
  6. Skillset: You’ll want to develop new skills to manage your team effectively.

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