101 Tasks Helping New Managers to Survive

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Andrew Rondeau graciously offered to write an article here on Cube Rules while Kate and I continue our Ireland trip.

Andrew has been a great friend of the blog, providing excellent comments and continuing the conversation on many articles. In addition, Andrew interviewed me and 15 other people for the Greatest Successful People series — a great 10 hours of interviews with people offering their advice in business and career management.

There is great advice here. Enjoy.


Here Are The 101 Tasks That Are Helping New Managers To Survive

People often ask me for my thoughts on becoming a new Manager. My immediate reaction is ‘great, fantastic, go for it, it can be a great and diverse career move’, quickly followed by ‘Do you know what you are letting yourself in for?’

Many years ago, I moved from a technical role to my first management role. Suddenly I was managing a small team, being accountable for their deliveries / service and not just my own, as I was before!

Was I scared / fearful? You bet I was. I was scared of making a mistake, looking stupid, ruining my reputation and not being able to do the job I had just been promoted to. I couldn’t turn to anyone for help, could I. Well you can’t can you! You have just been promoted and you don’t say to your boss ‘Err, I’m not too sure what to do, err, can you help me?’

Don’t get me wrong, great managers will always support their staff to improve, but asking for help / support after just being promoted is a bit of a ’no-no’.

So what do you do? Public library? Internet? Book shops? There is a huge abundance of information available. Some good, some not so good.

Therefore, based on my 25 years as a manager, here are the top 101 tasks / activities you have to deal with and master some, now you are the new manager:

  1. Know how to get on with your boss
  2. Who you should build relationships with
  3. How to build relationships
  4. Find out your teams services / deliverables
  5. What issues are your team experiencing
  6. What does your customer feedback say about your service
  7. Who are your main customers
  8. What are the priorities
  9. What are the strengths of each member of your new team
  10. What is the morale like within the team
  11. When did the team last celebrate for a good job being completed
  12. What do your new peers think of your team
  13. What does your manager expect from you
  14. What are the key measures in place to measure your service
  15. What is you 3 month / 12 month and 5 year plan
  16. Where is the company going
  17. Do your staff have individual / team / company objectives
  18. How well do you run meetings
  19. What meetings are required to manage your team / service
  20. How do you need to dress now, as the new manager
  21. What are your ambitions / goals
  22. Be flexible, courteous and persistent
  23. Take accountability for all your teams services / deliveries
  24. Ensure you give credit where credit is due, to your staff
  25. Take some risks
  26. Grow your network
  27. Ask lots of questions
  28. Believe in yourself
  29. How effective are the processes already in place – do they need changing
  30. What do your staff want fixed
  31. You are going to have to publicly speak – how good are you?
  32. What can you improve within your team
  33. Which of your services are highly thought of and which aren’t
  34. How do you manage your emails
  35. Do you have the support of your family / spouse (you may be working longer hours in the first few weeks)
  36. What are you going to do to relax / re-energise
  37. What is stressing you out and what are you going to do to rectify
  38. You must be super self-confident
  39. Get yourself a mentor
  40. What formal training would be beneficial for you
  41. How well do you know the companies products
  42. What tools do you need to be more efficient
  43. What customer feedback mechanisms are in place
  44. Get really efficient with your time management skills
  45. Stay fit – exercise
  46. Make sure your staff know what to expect from you
  47. Make sure your staff know what you expect from them
  48. Know the process for dealing with difficult staff
  49. Know the latest Personnel rules / guidelines i.e. Age Discrimination act
  50. Know how to say thank you
  51. Motivate your staff by praising and giving honest feedback
  52. Become assertive but not aggressive
  53. Ask your new team, what changes they would make to improve the service
  54. Remove small obstacles which are stopping your staff providing a great customer service
  55. Treat all your staff the same – no preferences for your friends
  56. Get on and do it – what ever it is – don’t suffer from procrastination
  57. Share new knowledge / ideas gained with your peers and boss
  58. Make your boss look great in public (and never do the opposite)
  59. Praise your staff in public
  60. Be a team player
  61. Read your staffs most recent performance review
  62. Never burn your bridges
  63. Book out an hour a day to give yourself time to think / plan
  64. Surround yourself with great supportive people
  65. Understand the teams finances
  66. Embrace and accept change
  67. If information is confidential, treat it that way
  68. Develop your staff
  69. Listen more than you talk
  70. Question things you don’t understand
  71. Go for a walk and think
  72. Know how to delegate – fast!
  73. Be optimistic about your performance
  74. Deal with distractions – fast
  75. Keep that work / life balance
  76. Use your initiative
  77. Be open to advice
  78. Gather as much information about the job you can
  79. Make sure you deliver your promises
  80. Hold one-to-one conversations with all your staff, whether they report to you directly or not
  81. Be comfortable with communicating the bad news as well as the good
  82. Get rid of any thoughts that, just because you are a manager, it gives you the authority and the power to do whatever you feel like
  83. Help your employees get rid of obstacles
  84. Remember, work is being judged by how well your team performs
  85. Put in place a continuous improvement plan
  86. Take time to understand the business in which you are operating
  87. Walk about and be seen
  88. Don’t pretend you know all the answers
  89. Don’t take all the credit yourself
  90. Don’t expect employees to be perfect
  91. Don’t ignore problems – identify and resolve them
  92. Create a sense of urgency
  93. Question past practices
  94. Identify and implement efficiencies
  95. Thoroughly research all sides of issues
  96. Make decisions – don’t waver
  97. Guide others who use your services
  98. Take initiative. See what needs to be done, and do it. Don’t wait for tasks to be assigned.
  99. Buy coffees / cakes for your staff to show you value them
  100. Roll up your sleeves and get your ‘hands dirty’ when necessary
  101. Have fun and laugh; don’t take things too seriously

So there you have them – 101 tasks / activities you will have to deal with now you are a Manager.

You will not be able to and won’t be expected to master them all. You will be expected to master a few. Use your natural strengths to decide which ones you are going to master and surround yourself with individuals who are masters in the ones you are not.

Then go and have a fantastic and rewarding career!


Andrew Rondeau transformed himself from a $4 an-hour petrol-pump attendant to a highly successful Senior Manager earning $500k every year.

Discover how you can remove your fear and reduce your stress of being a new manager by receiving Andrew’s free Management e-Course and report: http://www.greatmanagement.org/

  • […] 101 Tasks Helping New Managers to Survive | Cube Rules Great suggestions for those new to management…or even just looking to improve their management style. (tags: managing) […]

  • List is timed just right for me; been promoted. Thank you.

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