So I hear you landed the promotion.
Congratulations on your new manager role!
But while your skills have taken you this far in your career, taking on a managerial role can still be a challenging feat.
And if there’s one skill that will help you overcome these challenges and succeed as a manager—its strong decision making abilities. But don’t just take my word for it.
Mike Figliuolo, Founder and Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS believes that: “good decision making is the hallmark of a great leader”.
Just like Mike, many other successful leaders in history have been able to rely on their decision making abilities to propel them to even greater success.
That’s why, in the following article, I’m going to share with you my top insights on how you, as a new manager, can make strong decisions for your team.
1. Understand the power of your decisions
Prior to becoming a manager, your role was more or less an individual contributor to a team or department.
Becoming a manager not only means making decisions you’re held accountable for but now on behalf of others on your team as well. Suddenly, the power of your decision is much greater.
Consider for a moment all the critical milestones that must be hit to complete your next project.
Your decisions will impact how the timeline runs, the delegation of the budget and even the day to day tasks of individual contributors on your team.
As a new manager, it’s important to understand that in order for your team members to fulfill their expectations and hit KPIs, they need strong and timely decisions from you.
Expressing to your team how and by when you will reach decisions that impact their work exemplifies that you can hold yourself accountable to team decisions, but most importantly, that you respect their time and efforts.
2. Align your decisions with company core values
As with most established companies, with the exception of startups, company core values are usually clearly defined and visible in the workplace.
If you’re starting a new job, you’ll want to know these core values!
Knowing your company core values plays a key role in building your KPIs and aligning your priorities with company goals. Ultimately, your decisions should be aligned with company core values because it’s what’s expected of you.
For instance, if “providing world-class customer service” is one of your company core values and you encounter a problem that involves a dispute between an employee and customer; what would you do?
Your company core value of “providing world-class customer service” provides a guideline for what decision you should be making because it indicates the outcome your decision should achieve.
In considering how this customer problem should be overcome, you should be thinking “what would delivering world class customer service look like in this scenario?”.
Continue to align your decisions with company core values in all future management decisions you make and you’ll be guaranteed to deliver outcomes that company stakeholders are striving to achieve.
3. Clear roadblocks to move initiatives forward
Think of a time before you became a manager where your work was placed on hold because your manager hasn’t yet made a decision on how to move forward. Frustrating isn’t it? Don’t be that person.
There’s no doubt that in your new role as a manager, you’ll encounter a lot more moving parts in your day to day than any other team member.
That said, it is your responsibility to make decisions that will help clear roadblocks to move initiatives forward. “But how do I start?” you might ask. The solution is perhaps simpler than you might think.
All you need to do to start clearing roadblocks for your employees to do their jobs is asking the question, “how can I help you move forward?”. That’s it.
Without asking this question, you’ll never be able to pinpoint the specific needs of your team members. Remember, you should know the challenges of your employees but it doesn’t mean you can’t ask them directly.
In fact, studies how shown time and time again that most employees appreciate checking in with their manager once a week at the very least.
4. Help team members make their own decisions
If you’ve ever been micromanaged, you’ll know that there’s nothing more demotivating. So what can you do to keep your new team accountable without micromanaging?
The answer is simple: help your team learn to make their own decisions.
Like I mentioned earlier, it’s important for you to align your priorities and decisions to company core values. So make no mistake when supporting your team members; help them align their priorities and KPIs to your team and/or department goals and have them make their own decisions.
When you provide employees with the freedom and responsibility to make their own decisions, it’s not only building individual accountability but shows a degree of trust that empowers growth.
It’s not about having everyone make the same decision, it’s about guiding your team to achieve the same goals in a way that leverages their individual strengths.
5. Always have a Plan B
What’s even better than having a great game plan? Having two!
As a manager, you will no doubt encounter situations where you’ll be required to provide more than one solution to a problem.
It’s up to you to decide whether a Plan B is necessary in every such scenario. This is especially true when faced with a tight timeframe and potentially negative outcome to making the wrong decision.
No only does it appeal to your team that you have more than just one game plan during times of crisis—your boss will appreciate it too.
Having multiple solutions to one problem suggest that you’ve dissected the issue from various perspectives and encourages others to voice different thoughts.
Not to rain on your parade, but the decisions you’ll have to make as you gain momentum in your career will only become more difficult. But do remember, your ability to make the right decision is what will truly set you apart as a strong manager and leader.
Whether it’s cleaning up a crisis or having to let go of a team member, it’s up to you to train your decision making muscle early and often. So make sure to include it as part of your career mapping.