5 Mindsets To Drop When Becoming a Manager


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5 Mindsets To Drop When Becoming a Manager

Most people want to move up in their careers. You have to start somewhere, of course. But if you want to one day be in a managerial position, there may be some mentalities that served you well in your old job that no longer apply. It’s important to make the switch into a manager state of mind as you transition in your job. Start thinking in terms of leading a team rather than just “doing the work.”

What does that mean? Let’s talk about five different mindsets that you might have had in the past but that you’ll need to adjust when becoming a manager.

#1 – The “Head Down Worker” Mindset

In an entry level job, you may have been praised for being a “head down” kind of worker. This means that you concentrate on your job and don’t concern yourself with whatever is going on around you. Managers and supervisors love these kinds of workers because they’re efficient and they don’t get caught up in petty squabbles. A “head down” manager, however, could actually be a bad thing.

To be a good manager, you want to be an efficient worker but you do actually need to be tuned into what’s going on around you. You need to look at what your team is doing, take feedback, listen to your executives, and go with the flow. You should create a workplace where your team can buckle down and concentrate to get the job done efficiently. But that means you’ll need to have your head up, observing.

#2 – The “Not My Problem” Mindset

When you are in a starting role, you might be approached with an issue that is simply outside of your job description. You can say no to this, and should, because you likely don’t have the time or qualifications to do what is required. In some cases, you might pass the buck to your manager.

But when you are the manager…that buck often stops with you. Everything that goes on with your team is sort of your business, your problem. You have to be prepared to answer questions that come your way, rather than deferring them to someone else.

#3 – The “Not Good Enough”/“Not Ready” Mindset

Most people experience insecurity, especially when it comes to things they want. Are you ready to go for that thing? Are you good enough to achieve that thing? This is all pretty normal, especially in a work environment. However, it is something you’re going to have to get past in order to achieve your goals.

In this case, you’re likely not even going to get the promotion to manager if you don’t decide that you’re ready, that you’re good enough. You have to be confident in yourself in order to go for the job you want, and in order to lead your team with confidence.

#4 – The Griping Mindset

Complaining can seem like a part of work culture: gathering around the water cooler with your coworkers to talk about how hard the work is or what you’re struggling with. In some ways, this can actually be useful. Everyone needs to be able to vent sometimes, and sometimes discontent can lead to change.

But as a manager, you need to be solutions oriented. Don’t just complain and whine and then go back to the way things were. Start brainstorming a way to make things better. Bring the issue up with your team, with executives, as well as a potential solution that you can adopt.

#5 – The “Do It All” Mindset

On the surface, this is another one that seems like it could be a good thing. The more work you can take on, the more valuable you are to your business, right? But in actuality, this is similar to a star athlete who only focuses on their own performance. It’s great to be able to handle multiple different parts of the job. As a manager, however, you need to be able to focus on bettering your team.

Make sure that you delegate as a manager. Rather than doing it all, focus on the strengths of each member of your team and put the best people for the job on the job. Foster those strengths so that your team can be more valuable to the overall business, rather than just yourself. You have to be a leader as a manager, and sometimes that means you’re not in the spotlight. In fact, often that means you’re the one shining the spotlight on someone else.

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