Skill Level Intermediate
(upbeat music) - Congratulations, you've been promoted to a management position. Now what? We've got expert advice. - Have you ever heard someone say that leaders are born, not made? That is absolutely incorrect. The good news is that leadership is a set of skills. With a little thoughtful preparation, it's a set of skills you can learn. - As you learn them, you're probably asking yourself a lot of questions. - As a manager, how do you bring out the best in your team? How do you manage the pressure of everything on your plate, develop each teammate, build relationships, and position your team for success? - And one of the most essential skills you'll need to learn is the art of delegation. - With delegation, your reputation is on the line. How can you make sure they won't mess it up? That's the paradox we're facing, and it stops many people from even trying to delegate, but eventually the treadmill moves so fast, you just can't keep up anymore. You can't do it all by yourself. - Succeeding as a new manager, that's the subject of this LinkedIn Learning Highlight, your curated collection of learning insights from LinkedIn Learning. Hi everybody, Jim Hyde here from LinkedIn Learning. So, now you're a boss, and maybe you're a little nervous. That's natural, according to Todd Dewett, a bestselling author and leadership consultant and the instructor of a LinkedIn Learning course called New Manager Foundations. - Any nerves you may be experiencing right now will eventually fade as you ramp up the learning curve and begin to build your leadership skills. In order to prepare you for what's to come, please know that what got you here won't work anymore. The technical and functional job skills that earned you accolades are not the same skills that will enable you to be a successful leader of a team. For example, if you're a great accountant, it doesn't follow that you'll be a great leader of accountants. Leadership is a series of people-related skills that help you facilitate the work of others. It's not about doing the work, per se, anymore. Your job is to help, facilitate, structure, and plan the work of others. - One of the keys to being a successful manager is communication. And that doesn't just mean talking. It also means listening. Here's Todd Dewett, again from his course, New Manager Foundations. - Great communication isn't always about saying something. The most useful part is listening. The smart leader listens more than he or she talks. There are at least two huge reasons listening is the most important communication skill for new leaders. First, listening is about giving your employees what we often call voice. They can speak up and have their opinions heard. That means they feel like collaborators. They feel ownership. Second, more listening allows you to learn things you need to understand about your employees. The more you listen, the more you start to understand their preferences, their thinking process, their emotions. All of which helps you make informed decisions. - Now one of your jobs as manager is going to be assembling teams and leading them, but where? - Where is your team headed? Establish goals as a team, to ensure you're headed in the right direction. - That's Dr. Daisy Lovelace. She's the senior lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law, and the instructor of a course called Managing Teams. Here's her advice on setting team goals. - First engage the entire team in the goal-setting process. Set aside some time, perhaps at an off-site retreat, or during a longer team meeting, to brainstorm and discuss goals your team will pursue. It's important that these goals are aligned with the organizational goals and initiatives. Next, choose a goal-setting framework that makes sense for the work you're doing. Some popular ones are SMART and OKRs. - Setting goals is important, but it's equally important for everyone to know what those goals are, and how well your team is meeting them. - Now that your team has established your goals using your preferred framework, it's time to make those goals visible to all of your teammates. If you work in one central place, a board or wall might be a good place to post your goals and track the status of each one. Some teams prefer to use an electronic data dashboard that everyone can access. The point is, the goals you've established should be the top of mind for everyone on the team. Meaning everyone can easily access updates on the goals and their status at any time. - Now, one of the challenges new managers face is the art of delegation. Have someone else do it. It isn't as easy as it sounds. - I'm Dorie Clark, the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. I also teach for Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. - In a course called Delegating Tasks, Dorie details why delegating is hard and why it's necessary. - It sounds easy in practice, but many professionals find it challenging. What, exactly, do you delegate? And to whom? That may not be so obvious. And how can you trust them with that responsibility? With delegation, your reputation is on the line. How can you make sure they won't mess it up? That's the paradox we're facing, and it stops many people from even trying to delegate. But eventually, the treadmill moves so fast you just can't keep up anymore. - Delegating tasks is hard, Dorie says, for a couple of reasons. It's often hard to let go, to trust someone else to do something that you've been doing up to now. And there's the logistical hassle of explaining to someone how to do a given task. That takes time. - I fell victim to this, myself. When my first book, Reinventing You, came out I knew I needed an assistant. I was falling behind on emails, drowning in administrative tasks like booking airline tickets, and just feeling overwhelmed with the influx of new inquiries and obligations. So I hired someone and was gobsmacked that for about a month it actually made my life less efficient. It really would have been faster to do all the tasks myself. It took twice as long to explain everything to my new assistant and teach her processes and how to handle things. It magnified, rather than diminished, my anxiety. It would have been easy to quit working with her right then and there, and just go back to how I was used to doing something. But I toughed it out, and after that initial training period, delegation showed its true benefits and life became easier. - Okay, you're sold. You're willing to let go of some tasks, and put in the time to train those who will take them on. So, what do you delegate? - So here's the million dollar question. What should you actually delegate, anyway? First, before you can figure out what to delegate, it's useful to get an overall sense of the tasks you actually do. For a period of time, like a week or perhaps two weeks, write down every different task that you do. It's easy to forget if you try to do it all at the end of the day or every few days, so you might even want to set a timer every couple of hours to remind you to write things down. Your list might include things like respond to emails, book plane tickets, create a PowerPoint, write up a research memo, attend project meeting, brainstorm a list of suggestions for a new initiative, process invoices, or things like that. - So that's step one. Make a list of the things you do, both big and small. Step two is to study that list. - Next, once you have the complete list, look through it and make a note of which things, number one, you dislike doing, and number two, possibly related to this, things that you procrastinate on. If you really don't like something, or you feel enough of a block or anxiety about it that you keep putting it off, that's often a sign you might be better off without it on your plate. - Okay, so I've listed all the stuff I do or don't do because I'm procrastinating. How do I start getting rid of some of those tasks? - Look at the list again, and search through it for tasks that other people in your orbit really love or are really good at. Again, no decisions yet, just possibilities to consider. In a similar vein, if you have employees who report to you, or whom you're responsible for developing professionally, scroll through the list with them in mind. For each of them, what skills have they expressed an interest in getting better at? And are there particular abilities you think it's important for them to cultivate in order to do their jobs well and advance at the company? It's about cultivating your employees for the future. Finally, of course, go through the list one more time and circle the activities that you feel are truly at the heart of who you are and what you do. What on here is the place where you excel and make a unique contribution? Where do you add value that no one else can? If you're a graphic designer, for instance, it's a lot more important for you to spend your time designing, than it is to write up expense reports. Keep your highest and best use activities close, and consider everything else potentially delegate-able. - Okay, so let's wrap this up with a few takeaways. Number one, what got you here won't get you there. As Todd Dewett says - It's not about doing the work, per se, anymore. Your job is to help, facilitate, structure, and plan the work of others. - Number two, again from Todd Dewett. - The smart leader listens more than he or she talks. - Enough said. Takeaway number three. - The goals you've established should be the top of mind for everyone on the team. - Set team goals and make sure they're accessible to everyone, says Dr. Daisy Lovelace. Finally, takeaway number four, which we will delegate to Dorie Clark. - Keep your highest and best use activities close, and consider everything else potentially delegate-able. - Which is to say, learn the art of delegation, even though it can mean more work up front. There's a lot more to say about becoming a new manager and leading teams, including conducting performance reviews, having difficult conversations, managing all those meetings, and more. You'll find coverage of these topics and many others here on LinkedIn Learning.