Becoming a Manager

Josephine Kim
Business Manager
Automatic Summary

Becoming a Manager: Comprehensive Guide to Management Skills

Hello and welcome! My name is Josephine Kim, a business manager at True North Advisory. Here, we partner with high potential companies and entrepreneurs to help grow and scale their businesses. Today, we'll dive into what becoming a manager entails, with a focus on how to pivot into a managerial role and prepare for it, key reflections as a business manager, and a Q and A session at the end.

Pivoting Into a Managerial Role

Becoming a manager can often seem like a daunting step. However, with the right approach and mindset, it can become a seamless transition. Here’s an outline of the top three ways you can pivot into a managerial role.

1. Avoid Low Hanging Tasks

As an entry-level professional, it's easy to fall into the trap of taking on simple tasks such as scheduling or expense reporting. While these tasks may contribute to your role, to become a manager, you need to focus on more complex and high-value tasks. This will not only help you pivot to a managerial role but also highlight your abilities to key decision-makers.

2. Establish an Executive Presence

Executive presence is characterized by a clear agenda, confident and clear communication, and an understanding of your role during meetings and projects. This can be facilitated by locking your agenda, speaking clearly and slowly, and ensuring you comprehend your role in meetings so you actively contribute.

3. Building the Right Experience

While time spent in a role is a significant marker, it's equally important to gain relevant experiences for a managerial role. This includes leadership situations, working with diverse teams, or moving a project along. Keeping track of your professional experiences equips you to showcase your preparedness for managerial roles.

Preparation For Managerial Roles

Once you have pivoted into a managerial position, preparation becomes crucial. It involves self-reflection and understanding of the expectations of your new role. Here are a few strategies to prepare effectively:

1. Understand Your Team Roles and Responsibilities

Every team member has their own unique strengths, roles, and responsibilities. Understanding these enables you to delegate tasks effectively and achieve team success.

2. Maintain Weekly Check-Ins

Regular one-on-one check-ins with team members can prove valuable for understanding their progress, blockers, and professional development needs. This fosters an environment of support and facilitates team success.

3. Setting Expectations

Setting clear expectations from upper management fosters understanding within your team. Ensure that everyone is aware of the objectives, both immediate and long-term, and their part in achieving them.

Key Reflections for New Managers

In my own journey, I've found the following strategies incredibly helpful:

  • Networking: Networking should be prioritized as it expands your professional circle and knowledge.
  • Growth Mindset: Keeping an open mind towards learning and building your skills propels your growth as a manager.
  • Managing Yourself: Balancing your work and mental health ensures that you can lead effectively without burning out.

Thank you for joining and I hope you found this guide valuable. For inquiries or further support, email me at True North Advisory.

Video Transcription

All right. Hello and welcome. My name is Josephine Kim and I'm a business manager at True North Advisory uh where we work with a small number of high performing and high potential companies and entrepreneurs to help grow and scale the business today.I'll be uh covering on becoming a manager. Uh So today's agenda, I've covered how to pivot how to prepare key reflections as a business manager and Q and A at the end. All right. So starting with just how to pivot to become a manager. I found that these are the top three I found value in. So number one includes avoid low hanging tasks. Um This kind of goes back to that cliche of avoid low hanging fruits um in that where so traditionally, I've started out as an entry level role um and a lot of times within entry level roles, um it'll include, you know, scheduling or coordination, um sometimes expense reporting, just very easy to accomplished tasks and being able to avoid those oh hanging tasks and moving on to more high value ones will really help you to pivot to um managerial role and also promote yourself to the decision makers that are looking to promote.

Um And most of the times, it's very easy to kind of get into those low hanging tasks. But it's very important while those may be contributing to the role, to really focus on the ones that um more complex, more uh show an executive uh type of engagement. Um And the second part is establishing an executive presence. So a lot of times, um especially when at true North Riser, where we work with a lot of sea level executives, I've seen where um one of the things that they come into is having a very set agenda. I think a lot of times as individual contribute, contributors will be pulled into a lot of meetings with really not a set agendas, uh no set purpose for that meeting. Um And I think it's very important to kind of take a step back, get a clear agenda or they ask um when you are pulled into a meeting or especially into project, um take a time to be confident, speak clearly and slowly and also ensure that you understand what your role is in that meeting so that you can be able to contribute and not just be on mute and no video.

Uh a lot of times especially for remote workers and for those who are actually back into the office on a hybrid basis. Again, I think it should be very clear on making a standard to set agendas again, being clear on why and what value you can bring to the table versus just taking notes. Um And the third thing too is building the right experience. Um A lot of times people think, ok, now I've been in a role for 2 to 3 years, um, et cetera, it's now time to move to a manager role. And I think while that's important, it's also important to make sure you have the right experience. Have you been in um a situation where you were, you had to work with different teams, um communicate certain objectives and moving our project along um in that type of uh situation because a lot of times some uh people will think, well, I just think that since it's been so many years, it's time to move to manager, but also just make sure to take track of your resume essentially.

Like what have you been working on within the last 30 days, 60 90 days or even the last year uh where you can really showcase yourself as someone who's prepared to take on uh becoming a manager. And that will be really important too, especially with someone who is your uh direct manager or who is responsible for a promotion uh to really showcase uh your performance. And also um it's important to document what you've been working on. So the next thing is how to prepare.

Uh a lot of times I have colleagues and um friends who have got promoted but not always sure where to even begin. Um A lot of times, uh you know, companies and your direct line manager may be busy, you may say, hey, just take a course or two. But I think you should really take it upon yourself on what it means to really prepare for that role and also make sure that you're confident and comfortable to take it on. Um And these are the top three things that I felt were valuable. Uh Number one, understand your team roles and responsibilities. It seems like a no brainer, but a lot of times you'll be working with folks who have very specific roles, who've been working on certain projects and also who have very defined strengths. So to be able to really understand and kind of map out your team and understand, you know, where can I really pull in this person or does this make sense to assign this person this task um is going to be key to making sure that you're rules are successful. Um And the second thing is maintaining weekly check ins. So a lot of times, you know, you'll have your weekly team calls, get status updates, figure out, you know, where to uh what the next uh goal is. But I think it's also important to make maintain weekly one on ones with your team members.

Um You know, whether that's a team of seven, that you're managing to a team of two it's really important to not just understand, you know, what are they working on, but also understand, you know, what are their blockers? Um, where do they think they can be successful and also their professional development? You'll see a lot of times where, um I think, you know, people think becoming a manager is just delegating, managing folks, but it actually, it takes time to really get to know the people that you're working with and ensuring that it's an overall team success. So being making time for, you know, either it's a 15 minute or 30 minute check in with your team members um important to make sure that, you know, they're successful in their role and, and overall um contributing to the goal that you're trying to achieve number three, setting expectations.

I think a lot of times um managers kind of get stuck in this bubble of OK, we just need to figure out how to get from point A to point B that's been assigned to them. Um I think a lot of times it's also important to set the expectations from upper management. Um Even if you are CEO level, just making sure that, hey, does it team understand what you're accomplishing and why you're accomplishing it? Um I think it's very important to really set the company culture uh with your team members. And if you're in, you know, middle management, making sure, you know, if you've been at a team executive offsite or you've seen, you know, in those executive meetings where they're, uh, being transparent as to what they hope to accomplish for the year, just making sure that, hey, is your team on the same page?

Do they truly understand what it is? They need to set for the quarter? Why they're doing what they're doing? And do, they also have access to even some of the customer success stories, I think that's really important. Um And a lot of times, you know, it's good, it's great to bring those team members kind of outside of the weeds. And lastly, I just wanted to share some key reflections. Um One of the things is networking. I think a lot of times, um especially even uh in a sort of middle manager role you want. First of all, you're managing a team, you're trying to work to get your deliverables on time and at the same time, um trying to, to figure out, ok, you know, what's the next move? And I think a lot of times it's great to really make sure that, hey, are you networking? Are you expanding, you know, your knowledge of, of folks in the business, whether that's vendors or competitive um companies, it's really important. Hey, if you can attend an industry event, jump on that, um If there are external events that may be of interest to you also, uh go ahead and try joining it.

A lot of times companies can sponsor it Um, and honestly one of the key traits that a lot of executives have is that they have a large network and that's also one of the reasons why. True North Advisor where I work at is so successful. Um, number two have a growth mindset. I think a lot of times when people see people like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, they think, ok. Well, they're probably set, they have enough industry knowledge. Um, They're just sharing that back in a feedback loop. But I think you'll go to realize that a lot of times they're actually reading books, you know, the books that they recommend they're not doing that. Oh, just to promote the books or authors, they're doing that so that they can continue learning, they can continue learning about the world or about the industry that they're in what are innovative things that are happening. Um And a lot of times we kind of get stuck in building those key skills. So making sure that, hey, not only are you networking, but are you also taking time to learn and kind of building your skills to get to the next level? Um Number thing most importantly is managing yourself. There's actually a workforce institute study that said, you know, 32% of leaders will actually take on the work or any other challenging task uh in place of their team members and of course, that will lead to burnout, correct.

Um And a lot of times uh 40% of those leaders will be stressed out. Um They won't even have time to actually even work on their deliverables as well. So making sure that you not only just manage your team, also manage upwards, but also just managing your mental health and reducing the burnout that you'll take on. Um I think that's really important. So I will now move on to Q and A any questions. OK. Um Well, if there's no questions, I can just move on. So, thank you for those who joined. Um, if you'd like a copy of the presentation or if you'd just like to connect to learn more, uh, you can email me at, at True North Advisory. Oh, looks like there's one chat. Ok, thank you. All right. Um Yeah, so, uh, if you'd like to email me, uh, there's my email address, you can take a screenshot or whatnot. Um, so thank you for joining and really appreciate your time.