Have you recently been promoted to your first job as a supervisor or manager? If so, congratulations! Yesterday you were one of the guys, and today you’re their boss. You have a new set of important responsibilities and your relationships with your friends and co-workers have changed. This promotion presents a major growth opportunity for you, but it can also be a little scary and stressful.

Join Larry Sternberg and moderator Kim Shirk for some practical tips that will help you navigate this challenging situation. Here are a few of the points they’ll discuss.

First, conduct yourself with confidence. Don’t apologize for telling people what to do. Just give direction in a matter-of-fact, conversational tone of voice. This conveys your confidence that it’s normal, and that you are know they will follow your direction.

Next, you have to hold people accountable to do their best and to perform their jobs according to the established standards. You don’t have to abandon your friendships, but you cannot let those friendships prevent you from doing your new job properly. If someone is really your friend, that person will not expect special treatment or ask for it.

Employees tend to live up or down to their boss’s expectations. Holding someone accountable demonstrates that you believe that person is capable of performing at a certain level, which is an affirmation of her capability. Top performers want to be challenged and want to be held accountable to give their very best every day.

Next Larry and Kim discuss the importance of having an open door and an open mind. Make time for employees on their terms. Listening is a very powerful way to demonstrate that you care. Remind yourself that you don’t know everything. By listening with an open mind, you demonstrate respect for the other person. Make it a priority to spend one-on-one time with every person who reports to you.

In the closing segment of the podcast, Kim and Larry discuss the importance of helping people grow. The best managers help their employees grow, both professionally and personally. This is one of the most important ways that a manager makes a difference in the live of his employees, and it is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a manager. On our Website, managetomakeadifference.com, we give you a framework that will set you up to help each employee succeed and grow – it’s a set of questions called a Career Investment Discussion.

Tune in to hear Kim and Larry expand on these points to help you succeed in your new role and win the support and loyalty of your employees.

Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!

+ Larry Sternberg, J.D. and Kim Turnage, Ph.D.


This post highlights chapters from Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Click here to see posts on previous chapters. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

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