New managers can grow to become great supervisors by focusing on self-awareness and growth, according to advancement professionals with firsthand experience.
In the July/August issue of Currents, advancement professionals explored common mistakes and markers of successful managers. Here are a few of their takeaways.
- Don’t micromanage. One pitfall to avoid as a new manager is a desire to micromanage because it sends a message that you don’t trust your staff, says Tom Herbert, vice president of advancement at Miami University of Ohio and executive director of its foundation.
- Don’t forget about your long-term vision. New managers tend to focus on immediate changes rather than long-term plans, according to Ivan Adames, executive director of alumni relations and development at Northwestern University.
- Do understand your role. Managers have competing priorities: managing the expectations of higher-ups, budgeting, hitting performance targets, working across departments. But successful managers are defined by their interpersonal skills—”how we motivate, coach, influence, champion, support, communicate, inspire, and celebrate staff,” Adames says.
- Do be self-aware. “This is important as a manager, because how you project yourself and interact with those you supervise affects their state of mind and how they perform. Developing self-awareness happens through reflection. Take a step back before acting or reacting to situations,” says Herbert, who, along with Adames, will be a faculty member at CASE’s upcoming Management Institute.
- Don’t stop learning. Amir Pasic, dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, adds that successful management requires a combination of skills acquisition and self-discovery. To achieve this, leaders should develop a management style that fits their personality, solicit honest feedback and educate themselves by taking a managerial development course or even just reading the Harvard Business Review, says Adames.
Read more about management dos and don’ts in “Are You Managing?” in the July/August issue of Currents.
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