What screams winter more than a camel coat?
Nothing. (that was a trick question!) haha
I am not a fan of the cold but I am a fan of outerwear – guess I can’t have one without the other. In New England, the weather can range from fall one day to blizzard the next so you always have many styles of coats and jackets ready to pull from the closet. This camel wool coat has now been added to the closet and the weather is finally justifying me taking it out. This stunning Mackage Elodie camel coat has been on my wishlist for almost two years now and I received it this summer as a birthday gift from the mister and my friend Brenda. (I cannot thank you both enough!!!)
I really wish that we were still commuting to work so that I had the excuse to wear this every. single. day. to strut down that train platform! In the meantime, I will wear it just to get fresh air, strut down the sidewalk and style it was many times as I can. I feel like a total bad ass boss in it!
Speaking of being a boss — I got to thinking about this recently when some of my previous team members reached out for advice and guidance on becoming a manager for the first time. Honestly, being a manager and leader (there is a difference) has been one of the most rewarding yet most challenging things I have ever done.
When I made the transition to being a manager, I had to transition from being an individual contributor to a people manager. I like to always say that becoming a manager means that you have to go from being selfish to selfless. You have to set aside some of the time that you use to grow yourself and dedicate it to growing your team. Without that, you won’t progress on your journey to the top.
So for my first time people managers, I know how you feel. I didn’t have much direction when I started as a manager so I am sharing a few words of guidance from my own years of personal experiences. It isn’t from a Ted Talk or pulled from books – just my own feelings and experiences about what it takes and how you prep yourself for the journey.
- Invest in education for yourself whether by reading articles on google or ordering a book. Be a sponge and take it all in. You don’t have to use every single piece of advice – but have a baseline in management strategies. I started with The New Manager’s Tool Kit by Don and Sheryl Grimme and that was a great place to start.
- If you are ever in a situation where you don’t know the answer – don’t attempt to answer. That is not the time to fake it until you make it because it could be a lasting impression on the table you’re at. Be honest and take it as a follow up. I typically lean towards a response similar to ” I am not sure I have that information but I will take that as a follow up and get back to you (insert time frame here).”
- Don’t let anyone speak for you before you get to speak for yourself. I say this coming from an environment that lacked women in leadership. I didn’t know any better then, but I do now and the first impression is mine to give. No one else’s. Recently, this happened to me and it felt awful. It took a few personal conversations with the parties involved to make sure that everyone was on the same page. Have a discussion offline – you are worth it.
- Build your team to grow and develop with every intention of them replacing yourself as a succession plan. That’s the only way you can continue to move up – so teach them to be the best they can be and don’t hold back. As they say, everyone makes muffins differently even with the same recipe. Lay out a plan for growth – in writing (not in your head) – and work towards that vision for the entire team, including yourself. No plans – no growth.
- Hire people that are smarter than you – as my first boss told me. You want to delegate to people you can trust with work and brings ideas to the table that you can’t see. This will not only grow them but grow you with new perspectives and potential solutions down the road. Good talent is good talent, do not let your own self-preservation and pride get in the way of that.
I have had the honor of mentoring and training many people through my teams and I still keep in touch with most of them to this day. They have contributed to more than a decade of my own development of management skills and I am still a work in progress. You are going to be great!
Here’s to being great managers and leaders for the next generation to come.
Does this advice help? Do you want to see more tips like these in the future? Let me know below in the comments.